The Commissioner of Police in Abia State, Mr Ene Okon, has warned policemen in the state to desist from criminal activities, stressing that the number of officers involved in crime in Aba, the commercial hub of the state, was alarming.
The CP gave this warning during his familiarisation tour with members of the Police Community Relations Committee in Aba, on Tuesday.
He urged the officers to eschew indiscipline in its entirety and embrace the tenets of policing in the state.
Okon, who said he wanted to return policing to members of the Aba community, also urged residents to always fulfil their own obligations to the police by volunteering appropriate and timely information about suspected criminals as well as being obedient to the law.
He said, “I have a problem with policemen in Aba. The number of policemen that are involved in criminal activities in Aba is alarming.
“Every policeman in Abia wants to be posted to Aba. My question is, to do what? Does it mean police work cannot be done at Arochukwu, Ohafia, Nkporo, Isuikwuato and Uzuakoli? Why must it be Aba?
“The bottom line is bribery. For those, who have corruption tendencies and come to Aba to destroy the image of the police, I urge you to get ready because it will not work again.
“I don’t know whether you are not ashamed that you as policemen are involved in crime all because of pocket money. I will not spare you.
“Those that have worked with me know my stand on these dirty and corrupt practices. I know the Nigerian society and, especially the Igbo. If you do your work diligently, they will appreciate you.
“Not when you go and extort money from somebody unjustly, how can you expect something good in your life?”
Okon wandered how someone employed to fight crime could turn to a criminal himself, pointing out that there was a problem in the system.
“You may not be happy, but I’ve told you the truth and that is it. I’ll always tell you the truth no matter who is involved,” he added.
On the members of the community, he said, “For the members of the public, it is true you own the police and assignus to protect you and your property. So, it is your right to get that, but mind you that you have an obligation.
“You cannot separate right from obligation here. We know you have your right, but back it up with your obligations. You must obey the law, assist and support this institution you have created to serve you.
“If you fail to obey the law, this police you created will turn against you. Police are not magicians. We need your information to function adequately. We cannot be everywhere.”