Crime Has Reduced In Ogun State – Okoye

Crime Has Reduced In Ogun State – Okoye

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:52 am

Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, speaks to ABIODUN ONAFUYE on Police-Community relations in the state, his desire to rid Ogun of criminals and other security issues, including preparation toward 2015 elections in the state

What has been the secret behind your success in reducing crime in the state?

Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye

Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye

Well, I will not make public my strategy for ensuring that we have peace and security in the state, but I will only tell you that we have a good strategy that can assist and curb anything crime in the state. People have been saying that since I came to the state there has been a reduction in the crime rate. Yes, it is true, but I am not doing it alone; it is with the cooperation of other security agencie.We have the synergy: there is cooperation and collaboration; there are meetings all the time, just to give Ogun State people the security they deserve.

How would you describe public-police relations in the state?

Fantastic! The people have been helping us a lot, especially on the issue of community policing, which I call grassroots policing. They know that security is not police business alone; everybody is involved the public. Once the relationship is cordial, between the police and the community, grassroots policing begins. We make them understand that we are their friends, that we are here for the same purpose and if they can understand that, they will come nearer to you and once they are nearer to you, understand you, they can now avail you with information.
We can achieve a lot from this, because the police are not magicians, but with the best of information we will achieve a lot. We get this information from members of the public and it has been assisting us a lot. We have been achieving positive results from the relationship. As far as I am concerned, people of Ogun State have been assisting the police on security in the state.

Some weeks back, your Command has been meeting with various political parties, hoteliers and others in the state. Is this part of the measures you are putting in place ahead of the 2015 general elections in the state?
Meeting with them is just to sensitise them and tell them that Ogun State needs peace. And politics should not be done with bitterness; it should be politics of understanding. If they understand one another there will be no problem because politics has to do with human beings…

Political parties have to play politics without bitterness for the people to know that they have their interest at heart. They should try and make sure that they obey the rules and regulation of the Electoral Law; they must adhere to it accordingly. If anyone goes against the electoral law, such person will go in for it. So, we have to sensitise them on the importance of peace and the importance of playing politics without bitterness.

How have you dealt with the activities of cultist that were rampant in tertiary institutions in the state some years back?

If you compare what was happening here before we arrived here, you will agree with me that, considering the level the students were operating before, drastic reduction or total eradication is imminent. We came up with a strategy, and that strategy has been helping us. I will not let you know it. What I can just tell you is that we are still not resting on our oars.

Recently, rape cases have been on the high side in the state. How are you planning to stem the tide? And how do you feel after late last year’s arrest of Godogodo, the southwest armed robbery kingpin?

I felt the way you felt, I felt that we have achieve a lot, at least, getting that particular criminal who committed a lot of havoc in the south-west, killing a lot of people including policemen. I felt happy that the arm of death has been removed. Getting that agent of death out of the system, we give glory to God. I felt happy and I am sure the people of Ogun State felt happy too.

And on the rapists, to my knowledge, they are on the increase side. But on a general note, crime has reduced to the barest minimum in Ogun State.

How much has the present administration in the state done to support you on security?

The government has been helping us a lot. It is always there to assist us in terms of logistics. Few weeks ago, the government gave us 11 Hilux vehicles and we are making effective use of these vehicles. If you go round the state, you will see them, from Agbara to Ilaro, Ijebu to Remo, Abeokuta to Odeda, and within the towns, you will see them on ground; some around on standby, in case of any distress call.

What are you doing to flush out the bad eggs among police personnel in the state?

In every profession, there must be a Judas; not only the police, but journalists too. We have bad eggs here; it is the same way you deal with yours that we also deal with ours. With God on our side, we will have a breakthrough.

How do you relax after all this hectic work?

You know what the Police is all about. We are meant to protect life and property. I have to protect life 24 hours; how can I rest? Even when I’m relaxing or when I am off from the office, I am still doing my work. Even in my house or at the Officers’ mess or any place, I will still be doing my job and anytime you call me, you will get a quick response.

What legacy do you intend to leave behind in Ogun State?

The legacy I intend leaving behind is for them to know that the police is their friend. They should work together with the police, and that synergy and understanding is the only thing that can make the work rewarding. We should see ourselves as brothers and sisters.

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