Anger over ‘handshake reward’ to female police sergeant for disarming robbery suspect

CP Mustapha Dandaura rewards Sergeant Justina Ishiaku with handshake for disarming a robber and arresting him in Port Harcourt

… Handshake not enough, discouraging–NAWOJ Chairperson

She should be celebrated for heroism- Clarice Azuatalam, former Rep. candidate

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Mixed reactions have trailed  the ‘mere handshake reward’ by the Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, to  a female Police Sergeant, Justina Ishiaku, for courageously disarming  an armed robber and foiling the robbery attempt by arresting the suspect.

One of those not happy with the reward given to the police sergeant for her heroic act was Ms Clarice Azuatalam, a veteran journalist and former candidate for Owerri Federal Constituency, Imo State in the 2019 elections under the Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) party.

She vehemently dismissed the ‘reward’ of the handshake for the female Police Sergeant Justina Ishiaku’s gallantry.

According Azuatalam, “If they could not give her a national recognition, they should have at least give her a state recognition. She should be celebrated and adequately rewarded not only to encourage her but also to encourage others, especially in the Police Force where morale is low.

“This kind of handshake as reward for patriotism and gallantry for a female Police can dampen morale. Others are in Force  who would have done same next time would not want to risk their lives because of poor reward system in our country. She should be promoted and celebrated She is a hero”.

On her part, Mrs Lilian Okoronkwo, Rivers State Chapter Chairperson for the National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, and a broadcaster with the Rivers State Television, RSTV, also dismissed the ‘handshake reward’ for the Police Sergeant.

“The woman should not only be celebrated to encourage others, she should be rewarded with a Special promotion for her patriotism and gallantry and rewards should follow. She took risk of her life as a woman. This will encourage her and others to do more. Certainly, handshake is inadequate”, NAWOJ Chairperson said.

It was learnt that Sergeant Justina Ishiaku summoned courage and disarmed an armed robber and  she foiled an armed robbery attack in her domain in Rumuolumini.

Sergeant Ishiaku was not even on duty when she confronted the armed robber and arrested the robber who was armed with locally made pistol and cartridges.

A press statement issued by Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, to the media states as follows: “A female Sergeant Justina Ishaku attached to Rumukpakani Division, who displayed uncommon courage and gallantry in arresting an Armed Robber and recovering a locally made Pistol with cartridges.

“She was today (Monday) blessed with a Handshake from the CP who appreciated and commended her for her commitment and sense of patriotism”.