Chike Oti, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Lagos State is not the policeman next door. This amiable cop is also a scholar and a good mixer. Apart from his stint as a lecturer at the Liberian Police Academy, he is also a versatile police man who has served in various parts of Nigeria. He speaks on policing and why Lagos is in safe hands under the current commissioner.
Could you please tell us about your life and career?
Chike oti is my name. I am a police superintendent. I have worked in various parts of the country. I had worked abroad also before I became the PPRO. I served at the police collage as a lecturer in 2010. Along the line, I was sent to lecture in the Liberian police academy.
How are the police securing Lagos state?
Lagos state as we all know is a metropolitan city. The commissioner of police in Lagos state has worked in different areas in Lagos. He served as a DPO in different divisions, so I can confidently say that he actually understands the situations in the state.
He knows challenges that are peculiar to a particular part of Lagos and he has mapped out plan and adequate logistics to fully take care of that area.
So what he has done is that he has been able to mobilise logistics and men to take care of the identified situation that is why we are enjoying peace in Lagos state today.
As far as I am concerned, Lagos State is model state in Nigeria today. If you go to anywhere in the day or at night, you would easily see policemen and vehicles at one point or the other. The police are at every corner to give you a sense of peace and security.
Many people have accused the Lagos police of firing and approaching people wrongly. As the PPRO have you ever come across such complaints?
Yes. As they say, in every 12, there must be a Judas. We have made available contacts and information to the public. When a policeman or woman is not doing his or her job, the public are enjoined to contact appropriate authorities.
The commissioner of police has embarked on a town hall meeting where he had discussions with the people in various parts of Lagos State. Usually, they tell us what they want and we tell them also what we want from them. This is to bridge the gap between us and the public. We let them know that there shouldn’t be any gap in the first place because we are here to serve them. I got there feedbacks because we need their cooperation because you can’t police alone. Interaction with the police must be cordial, but wherever there is infringement, the public are advised to make use of those lines.
Many police men who fall short of laws and regulations have been sanctioned. And we will continue to do so. Others with minor offences, about 25 of them, were reduced in ranks. And about 60 of them also whose offences were much lesser in degree were sanctioned severely..
I do not think a policeman on night duty asking someone to open his car for a search is an infringement of right as some people would call it, he is just doing his job. It is for the good of the society. When you stop a vehicle and see that the driver is carrying human head or incriminating materials, you don’t see it as a disturbance; but when they stop you, you see it as they are infringement on your right; it is for the good of the society.
What is your advice do you have for the general public?
I am advising Lagosians to key into the community policing platform. Community policing is actually a partnership with the members of the public, where by the people should know there neighbour, what they do. It is not necessarily intruding into their privacy but having the knowledge of who our neighbour is.