In what some visitors termed as evidence that the gods were angry, Heavy rain and strong storms disrupted the first visit of the newly appointed Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Akali Baba, to Lagos State Police Command yesterday.
Like an episode in a Nollywood movie, Flying cannopies with its iron poles literally chased away IGP Usman Baba Akali and other Senior Police Officers, immediately after the National Anthem was recited.
Following the intensity of the rain, which was accompanied by angry winds and storm, the Police Chief, his senior officers, journalists and visitors took to their heels, as flying cannopies pursued people in different directions.
In the confusion that ensued, Social distancing and face masks became history, as both senior and Junior ranking officers found themselves clustered , clamped together with Journalists and visitors in the few available shades in the compound.
The unfolding scenario started with a joke that turned out to be prophetic , from the principal Master of ceremony, who also is the Police Force Image Maker, Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba, when at the first notice of the strong winds, he said ” Lagos are you people planning to send down rain oooh “?, Suddenly, the strong winds and storm descended with heavy rain, pulling down cannopies.
As the cannopies were flying towards the tables sat by the Guests, all of them took to their heels, as the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Baba Akali , skipped and was whisked away to safety by his retinue of security aides, but their move to save the Police Chief in his official vehicle was thwarted , as the fallen cannopies had blocked the vehicle, hence he was rushed into the commands conference hall, where he commenced his media briefing.
The Wednesday heavy rain and storm did not only disrupt the event ,where the visitors and other guests scampered for safety, but damaged about two police vehicles.
News planet International. Com , reports that the IGP arrived the Command at about 1:40pm and was only able to take the National Anthem before strong wind and heavy rain descended, blowing up all the canopies, forcing the IGP and other senior officers to run to the conference room.
While other Police officers, journalists sought for safe place.
The IGP arrived Lagos at about 10am and visited Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu at Government House, Marina, Oba of Lagos, before coming to the command headquarters at about 1.40pm.
On arrival at the command, he met briefly with some senior officers at the conference room , before coming to address other senior officers, including Area commanders, DPOs, squadron commanders, then , the rain started
IGP Baba later briefed the press, where he pointed out the areas that needed to be improved on by his men.
Such areas include crowd control, which should be done by policemen according to the norms of discharging their responsibilities.
“There is need to also control use of arms. Officers should Lecture their men that once they are assigned a rifle, there is a time and reason for its use. You need to guard it and use it responsibly.
“We must also be civil in discharging our responsibilities. Never again do we allow our stations be overrun to the extent that we will not be able to handle situations because of cowardice or lack of professionalism,” he said.
The police chief added that his mission in Lagos was to familiarize and address officers of the Command with a vision on how the Nigetia Police would be administered under his leadership.
Baba said there was also need to talk to police officers ,that they have a duty to perform ,which should be done while some things were taken into cognizance.
“It is good to remind ourselves the enormous task of policing in a democratic system. It is a known fact that we have not gotten all we need to discharge our duties in terms of welfare, logistics and equipments, but with limited resources, we will do our jobs with more dedication and professionalism.
“I will congratulate us that the government and the people are taking cognizance of our duty. We have the support of every Nigerian like never before and it has become obvious that we are neccessary in maintaining equilibrium,” he said.
The IGP also urged senior Police officers to motivate their men through reward and sanctions.
According to him, the reward would motivate the men while the sanctions would serve as deterrent to others.
The police boss said the Police was beginning to witness personnel increase, improvement in logistics and welfare and that recruitment was ongoing.
He added that the police was also taking delivery of fundamental tools from the police Trust Fund and that the request of the Lagos Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, for 13 water cannons and other equipment was noted.
Baba said the police on their part would focus on training and retraining of policemen , so as to discharge their duties with professionalism.
“We need to restore our professional calling by way of discharging our responsibilities through technology based practices and go by enabling laws,” he said.
He added that the police was also working towards rehabilitation and reconstruction of barracks and effective housing scheme project for officers to retire after service.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, CP Hakeem Odumosu said the Lagos State has been calm and relatively peaceful as crimes and criminality have been suppressed.
He, however, stressed that the command was able to arrest 2,228 suspects connected with offences ranging from armed robbery, cultism, murder, hooliganism and defilement/rape in the state,
“87 arms and 129 ammunition of various calibres were recovered. In addition, 36 stolen vehicles were recovered by the command within the period under review” “he said.
Odumosu solicited the assistance of the IGP for the rehabilitation of burnt Police facilities during the #EndSARS protest stressing that the damaged facility had affected the operation of the Command in tackling crime.
“We lost six personnel, 16 Police stations and 13 Police posts were set ablaze. Similarly 106 Police personnel were injured while 62 patrol vehicles were burnt and some vandalized,” he said.