By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City and Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The new acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, yesterday pleaded with Ijaws and Itsekirs to allow peace reign in the riverine communities of Delta State to hasten their desired development of the areas.
This is as the IG, in Benin, Edo State, ascribed poor facilities in the sector as responsible for the lack of success in forensic analysis of crime.
He particularly appealed to members of Ugborodo and Oporoza communities in Warri South West Local Government Area of the state to partner with the Nigeria Police in ensuring peace in the area.
The acting IG made the appeal during his visit to the Itsekiri and Ijaw communities in the local government sequel to recent spate of militants’ activities that have shrunk the economy of the country.
The IG, accompanied by senior police officers including the new Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Zanna M. Ibrahim, described his visit to Ugborodo as his first after assumption of office last week.
Idris, who was welcomed with Itsekiri cultural dance, promised to establish police presence in the community, saying: “we are here to help you; we are here to seek partnership with the people.”
The IG also promised to see development takes shape at Ugborodo and Oporoza, provided the people embraced peace and support the government of the day.
The Olaraja of Ugborodo land, Priest Benson Dube Omadeli, had described the visit as historic, noting that people from the Itsekiri political headquarters are not criminals.
He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to increase the presence of the Nigerian Navy in the area or better still, relocate the logistics headquarters of the force from Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state to Ugborodo.
Some chiefs from Oporoza, who spoke on behalf of their people, pleaded with the acting IG to help ensure the release of about 10 school pupils who were arrested by soldiers in the wake of the siege on the community to which the IG directed CP Zanna to follow up.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had called for deployment of more Police personnel to ensure consolidation of the existing peace in the state.
The Governor made the call in Asaba when he received on courtesy call, the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.
According to the him, it was a thing of joy that peace has returned to troubled areas in the state and commended Mr. Idris for visiting the state for an on-the-spot assessment of security situation.
While noting that the state was relatively peaceful, the Governor emphasised, “we had security challenges but by the grace of God, they are easing off and with this visit to some of the riverine areas, we hope you will see the security challenges and hopefully we will receive more Police personnel to handle the challenges there.”
The Governor who congratulated Mr. Idris on his elevation as acting Inspector General of Police, observed, “I can see that with the physical fitness in you a lot will be achieved; I believe that we will also make a lot of progress when there is timely sharing of intelligence and information because, once we have warm relationship and sharing of opinions, we will achieve a lot in having a peaceful state, a peaceful country.”
He commended the Inspector General of Police’s proposed “Eminent Persons Forum” in all Area Commands asserting that “it will help the Police have a better understanding of our people, culture and peculiar security issues and how to handle them”.
Okowa assured the acting Police Boss that his administration would always work with security agencies and assist them when necessary for them to do their jobs effectively, reiterating that his administration would not condone any form of criminality or criminal elements in the state.
Earlier, the acting Inspector General of Police accompanied by top echelon of the security agency, told the Governor and members of the executive council present during the visit that they were in the state to assess and evaluate the security situation and what their men were doing to tackle security issues.
“We want to assure you that the present leadership of Nigeria Police Force are in the service for the government and people of Delta State; we will set up eminent people’s forum for elders in all Police Commands to be involved in managing security challenges, especially those issues peculiar to their areas”, Mr. Idris said, ” adding “ the Police is in the service of the people, we are your servant, we are here to serve you, I want to solicit your cooperation to make us serve you better”, he added.
Ibrahim who was represented by Wilson Akhiwu, CP, Forces Headquarters, said the force had over the years carried out its investigations on crimes without being biased with the aid of forensic analysis, adding however that though the facilities had been very limited, but the few available ones had been effectively put into use.
According to him, “the police force is doing all in its capacity to purchase more equipment to speed up forensic analysis in the sector while training and retraining of police officers to man the facilities are also being encouraged across the country”.
The Acting IGP noted that criminal investigation could be gotten right in the country if all the hiccups witnessed in the process as result of the deficits in the facilities were removed.
“There is need to build on the facilities on ground to make investigation of crime less cumbersome in the country. With more forensic experts in the police force, the better for the country as new waves of crimes are springing up on a daily basis”, he declared.
The project coordinator, Forensic Research and Development Centre, Dr. Eddy Ehikhamenor, said the forensic and DNA were very important in the society as it helps to put to rest the unnecessary arguments and prolong legal battle that may emanate with regard to ascertaining the paternity of a child.
Dr. Ehikhamenor also said besides trying to unravel the true paternity of a child, that embracing forensic analysis in the country would put all Nigerians on their toes and make them toe the part of honesty and avoid corruption in their places of work noting that when they were abreast with the fact that when they are involved in sharp practices, forensic analysis would be carried out on them, they would not want to engage in such an act.
Ehikhamenor however advised Nigerians to see the forensic analysis process as a welcome development.