As the six abducted male students of Igbonla Model College, Epe, Lagos, continue to remain in captivity 54 days after, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has put measures on ground to fortify the marine department of the force to protect the inner waterways.
The Force Marine Officer (FMO), Chinedu Iwuozo, a Superintendent of Police, who made the disclosure, said the move is part of the drive of the IG to reposition the section in order to restore its past glory and ensure the maritime domain is protected in line with best practices and international standard.
The move by the IG was necessary owing to the fact that in most of the kidnap cases in Lagos, the kidnappers usually access the scene through the creeks and inner waterways and they also use such as their getaways.
Thus, in an avowed determination to stamp out banditry and other criminal acts on the waterways across the nation, the IG approved the fortification of the marine police by boosting its capacity to ensure effective service delivery.
Iwuozo, who spoke at the send-off ceremony organised for the outgone Force Marine Officer, CSP. Isa Igbleba in Lagos, said the measures on ground will keep them a step ahead of the criminals.
He said, “The police is doing a lot in that regard and we have operational strategies that are ongoing. Already we have operational bases in such creeks.”
He said the IG has approved the mobilisation of interested members of inspectors, rank and file into the section. He also said courses have been organised to shore up the standard of the section, adding that due consideration has also been given to the recruitment of fresherâ€™s who are experienced or trainable into the section.
Iwuozo also hinted that some intakes are undergoing training in some police training institutions across the country will be drafted to the marine section, which he said would augment the strength of the section.
In the area of welfare of the personnel, he disclosed that the welfare and logistics for the operatives is being looked into by the leadership of the force, just as he pointed out that marine formation in other climes are seen as elite corps.
His said, â€œIt is in the drive to reposition the section to restore its past glory that the present police leadership under our visionary Inspectorâ€“General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, approved the mobilisation of interested members of inspectors and rank and file into the marine police to boost capacity of the section.
“Also, this is to ensure effective service delivery in the maritime domain in line with best practices and international standard.
“Courses have been organised to shore up the standard of the section. Issues of welfare and logistics are also been looked into and consideration is been given to the recruitment of fresherâ€™s who are experienced ot trainable into the section.
“Presently, some intakes are undergoing training in some training institutions which will also augment the strength of the section.â€
While tracing the history of the section, Iwuozo informed the Marine Police was established about the year 1891 in Lagos, then styled Police Night water Patrol, with improvised equipment such as locally carved wooden canoes and wooden paddles, adding that the section has metamorphosed into a large section, having 22 commands spread across all the geo political regions of the nation.
On his part, the retired FMO who lauded the efforts of the police authorities in providing logistics support to the unit, in a bid to protect the maritime domain better, added that his retirement would afford him the opportunity to mingle with the civil society better.
Also speaking at the occasion, AIG James Caulcrick (rtd) charged serving officers to lay good legacy by imbibing the attitude of love, goodness to their subordinates and bear in mind that they shall quit the job at a point in time.
He described the celebrant as a gallant, dutiful officer who distinguished himself in his assigned duties with a remarkable achievement.