Security File with Enani Benson
NEW OYO CP SODIPO: I’LL FIGHT CRIMINALS TO STANDSTILL
Tough times are here for criminals and undisciplined policemen in Oyo State, as Mr. Kola Sodipo, former River State Police Commissioner, has assumed duty as the new state Commissioner of Police.
The top COP reported for duty with a pledge to give verve to community policing and crime fighting.
For Sodipo, who succeeds CP Mohammed Indabawa, who recently retired from the police, in the recent redeployment of police officers across the country, it was home coming, having served in the Oyo as Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, where he was reputed to have personally chased armed robbers and hoodlums out of their hideouts.
Speaking with WESTERN POST in an exclusive chat over the telephone, the new Oyo Police boss said his priority would be crime fighting and effective community policing.
The police could achieve little or nothing in this regard without collaboration and support of the public, he said and enjoined members of the public to be the bridge between the society and the force to achieve success.
He also promised to tackle corruption and indiscipline, saying: “any policeman who believes he can harass, brutalize and extort money from members of the public cannot succeed’’.
He said such errant officers would also have him to reckon with. Sodipo also said that he would be holding meetings with senior police officers including Divisional Police Officers and Heads of Department twice in a week.
He urged the officers against partisanship as 2015 elections draw near. He also urged them to be civil and polite while treating information from members of the public with utmost confidentiality.
An indigene of Lagos Island in Lagos State, Sodipo was born on May 24, 1957. He holds a BA degree in History from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after which he enlisted in the Nigerian Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police on December 31, 1984.
An astute administrator and fine detective, Sodipo was among pioneer officers of the Criminal Intelligence Bureau (CIB) in Abuja.
Among other positions he has held in the police are Force Armament Officer, Force Headquarters; Divisional Police Officer in Charge of Ago-Iwoye and Ifo Divisions both in Ogun State. He had also served in Police Mobile Force, Squadrons 23 and 2, as Squadron Commander and Unit Commander respectively. He also served as Police Area Commander, Shagamu and Ijebu-Ode, Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, Oyo State in 2004, where he was reputed to have personally chased armed robbers out of the nooks and crannies of the state.
Sodipo had earlier held sway in Lagos State Police Command as Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Administration.
FRSC CONFIRMS 2,972 KILLED IN ROAD ACCIDENTS IN 6 MONTHS
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has said no fewer than 2,972 persons have lost their lives to road crashes nationwide between January and June 2014.
Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, who disclosed this at the weekend in Abuja, vowed to bring down the figures through intensive enforcement.
Speaking at one-day conference for Unit Commanders of the Corps, Oyeyemi charged the Unit commanders to work tirelessly to mitigate the spate of road traffic crashes in the country, warning that it would no longer be business as usual.
He noted that the total number of crashes recorded during the first half of the year was 5,255 in which 2,972 were killed and 15,587 others sustained various degrees of injury.
WESTERN POST also gathered that the corps management is pushing for arms bearing by FRSC personnel as part of efforts to strengthen the corps enforcement drive.
Oyeyemi, however, explained that the move was to ensure protection of FRSC key installations and reduce the risk of attack on the personnel during operation on the highways.
He said: “I just mentioned something about the need for us to defend and protect our vital installation. We produced number plates and we have about three major centers nationwide.
“We also have 104 rivals licensed work stations and we have 71 installations going on and before the end of the year we are going to complete the 71 installations.
“These vital formations have to be properly protected. There is also need to reduce the risk of attack by drivers and maybe hooligans on our personnel. We are already working with the police in protecting one of these vital installations but we won’t want to overstretch them”.