For more than five hours on Wednesday morning, Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, grounded Ikeja, the Capital city of Lagos State to a halt as policemen kept traffic to a standstill because the Alkali attended a function at Raddison Blu, GRA Ikeja.
A senior journalist and former Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism(NIJ), Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye who was caught up in the standstill said: “Please pray not to be on the road when the Inspector General of Police is visiting a state. Children, pregnant women, and workers are stuck on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Road, because the IG is visiting; the road has been closed until the man passes;
Even the Governor of Lagos State never does that. That this is happening in 2021, in the country’s commercial capital, makes you wonder whether we are in a hurry to join the comity of civilised nations.
And so brethren, I say unto thee:
MAY YOU NEVER BE ON THE ROAD WHEN THE IG VISITS!
Entries into the GRA were blocked to traffic, causing the ripple effects to be felt on Mobolaji Bank Anthony road all through to Maryland. Traffic also split over to the Oshodi-Abeokuta Express road. So many air passengers that had early morning flights missed their flights.
Meanwhile Alkali, has the role of police spokespersons as germane to the dispensation of justice to both the victims and defendants. He stated this on Wednesday in Lagos, in his remarks at the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop for police public relations officers across the various commands and other formations in the country.
The workshop which has the theme, “Crime Scene Management and Conclusive Criminal Investigations – The Role of Police Spokespersons”, would be in two batches, with the first batch holding in Lagos and the second in Abuja, for the purpose of positive intellectual impact and also in compliance with the COVID-19 prevention regulations.
Alkali noted that the workshop – organised in partnership with the Nigeria – German Development Cooperation (GIZ) – is part of the many interventions by the police leadership in building and strengthening police structures and capacity in Nigeria and to develop robust forensic awareness and knowledge for commands’ spokespersons.
“This in itself flows from contemporary public relations practice which identifies police spokespersons across the world as one of the first responders to crime scenes,” he said.
“This is in addition to many other important roles played by police spokespersons in managing crime incidents throughout the investigative processes.
“These roles are germane to the pursuit of professional criminal investigations and the dispensation of justice to both the victims and defendants.
“This course also seeks to equip the participants with skills necessary for effective descriptive, analytical and strategic communication touching on criminal investigations and procedure.
“This, in turn, will enable them acquire relevant skills to give appropriate responses to citizens and media enquiries into matter of forensic and evidential nature connected to ongoing criminal investigations.”
The IGP expressed confidence that the 3-day workshop would, amongst other benefits, impact Police Spokespersons positively, particularly in the areas of Strategic Communication and Crime Scene Management.
In addition, participants of this course must be reminded that, to succeed as Police Image Makers, they must be versatile and have deep theoretical and practical knowledge of all aspects of policing, covering administration, operations, investigations, forensics, amongst others.
“Therefore, the quest for resourcefulness, remains an integral part of the objective of this course,” he said.
He therefore encouraged the participants to take advantage of the opportunities the workshop presents, to interact, cross fertilize and broaden their skills, especially in responding to crime incidents and to fit-in to the ever demanding, dynamic but necessary task of information management and public engagement, for the Force.
“The Nigeria Police, under my watch, remains committed to well-thought-out and goal-driven partnership and collaborations, with progressive and positive-minded organizations such as the GIZ, targeted at enhancing the professional, structural and operational capacity of the Force.
“The Force would sustain this relationship and open new areas of collaborations, particularly ones touching on capacities on criminal investigations, respect for human rights, access to justice for citizens, improved transparency and accountability in policing actions, and other deliberate efforts aimed at strengthening citizens’ complaint response system,” he assured.