When the police high command announced the deployment of Mbu Joseph Mbu from zone 7 Abuja to Zone 2, Lagos, those of us who have keen interest in police activities knew that the Assistant Inspector General of Police was in for a battle.
We were not disappointed. Shortly after the announcement, APC Spokesman in Lagos, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, told the press that Mbu was on a mission to deliver Lagos State to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). From Abuja, Mbu replied that he would respond to the APC allegation at the appropriate time. We are waiting.
As expected, Mbu was greeted with an avalanche of insinuations at Lagos. Less than 10 days after assuming office, he was in the news for picking and detaining policemen and a toll gate at Lekki.
The screaming headlines reported that the victims were detained for five days because they asked Mbu to pay toll fees and he refused.
This incident did not escape the notice of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Akinlolu, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police. He was quoted as saying that nobody will intimidate Lagosians.
Ironically, the AIG had been with the Oba, a day earlier in his palace and they had a healthy father to son chat. On hearing about the toll gate saga, the Oba had sent a text message to AIG Mbu, appealing to him to release those detained. They were released immediately. Even the policemen who did not know that they should pay compliments to a senior officer when they saw Mbu were equally released within 24 hours on the intervention of the Oba of Lagos. But as expected, the APC Lagos went to town calling Mbu unprintable names.
The simmering water had hardly calmed down when the AIG came into the news again. This time, for reportedly ordering the shooting of 20 civilians for every policeman killed. Some newspapers reported that he ordered for the killing of 100 civilians for every police man killed. Again, Mbu was painted as uncivilised, barbaric, not worthy of the money with which he was trained.
Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, One Mr. Debo Adeniran, capped it up in an interview with the Sunday Punch of February 22, blaming the police authorities for promoting Mbu instead of reprimanding him for his lacklustre performance as Commissioner of Police in Oyo and Rivers states and the FCT. He threatened that, “if the excesses of Mbu are not brought under check, we may be forced to come out in street protests and write petitions to the international community to drive home our point.” Mbu is not a stranger to street protests. He had more than enough doses of government sponsored protests against him in Rivers State.
Debo should find out the result: more persons came out in solidarity for Mbu after such protests. It is worthy of note that those who vilify Mbu know so little of him. And the media has been most unfair to him.
They swallow hook, line and sinker whatever garbage is fed them about Mbu by those desperate to protect their self interest. Hardly is time taken to crosscheck the stories, and the dictum of social responsibility is completely thrown to the winds. The best judge of an employee’s character is his employer. And organisational best practices, especially in the police and military can never be determined by public protests. Mbu is a refined gentleman and professional Police officer.
His ethical standard is impeccable and unassailable. As DPO, he received high commendations at Potiskum, Yobe State. As Area Commander, he received award as the Best Area Commander in Delta State, with a cash reward of N500, 000 from the then state governor, Chief Ibori. As Director, Directorate of Police Education, he gave a face lift to all police school facilities in the country, which engendered high academic standards and enrolment into police schools and colleges. He also got books worth over N20m from the United States of America for police schools and colleges in Nigeria free of charge. He instilled discipline in the Police Mobile Force as PMF Commissioner and gave face lift to decaying infrastructures. Now wait to hear this: As police commissioner in Oyo State:
The state House of Assembly held a valedictory session for him for stamping out criminals from the state in the six months he served there. He still enjoys the highest regards of the state governor, Ajimobi His records in Oyo State Police Command have been unmatched till date in terms of crime control, infrastructural development, personnel motivation and repair of vehicles. As CP Rivers State: Again, his records remain unbeaten for a man that was not assisted by the state government. He refurbished six abandoned Armoured Personnel Carriers, 26 abandoned patrol vehicles and completely renovated the CP’s quarters, from roof top to foundation with aesthetic landscaping.
The Rivers State Command Headquarters at Moscow Road, wears a new look, thanks to him, likewise the Secretariat of the Police Officers Wives Association. AS CP FCT: Let me summarise this by simply saying that the Inspector General of Police transmitted his achievements as CP, FCT to all the 37 commands for the CPs to emulate him. The same recommendation he received as AlG Zone 7, Abuja, before proceeding to Lagos, where he immediately put to use a pilot bike that was abandoned for the past three years. Mbu is a recipient of the IGP’s Medal of Courage Award.
Besides several other awards and commendations, he was also honoured as the Best Crime Bursting Police Chief in Africa by Security Watch Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2013. The Rivers State Police Command under him then, as CP, was given award as the Most Innovative Police Command in Nigeria. In October 2014, he was a recipient of the Accra-based Be-Great Security and Intelligence Academy for Ethical Policing and Professionalism.
It is so unfortunate that the police hardly defend themselves against the tyranny of the public. People make comments and engage in acts that build a Berlin Wall between the police and the public, despite desperate attempts by the police to promote police community camaraderie in order to effectively tackle causes of crimes and fears of the public. And it is rather appalling that a section of the press will chose to beam their search light on jaundiced and fabricated tales of people who only want to protect personal interests. If Mbu keeps quiet in the face of accusations, it is because he is a gentleman and a thorough bred professional police officer. Joining issues with people is never his kettle of fish.
If you add to the fact that Governor Ajimobi of Oyo State holds him in very high regards, and the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, had written a personal letter of commendation to him after supervising the elections in Edo State, then, the APC is crying wolf where it doesn’t exist. Both governors are of the APC.
SOURCE: The Opinion.