An act of kindness rendered to an armed robbery victim by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Ogudu Police Station in Lagos, Mrs. Celestina Kalu, a Superintendent of Police (SP), was yesterday rewarded by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who personally invited the kindhearted cop to the State House for an honour.
Sanwo-Olu described Kalu as “a humane police officer,” and commended her decision to save the life of an orphan, Friday Ajabor, who was shot by a two-man armed robbery gang at MKO Abiola Park in Ojota, as a “matchless trait of compassion”.
Ajabor, a 25-year-old orphan from Edo State, was at the park with his friend at about 8pm on September 19 when the two robbers waylaid them, attempting to dispossess them of their valuables. They struggled with the robbers, until the assailants overpowered them.
Ajabor’s friend managed to escape from the scene with their personal effects, leaving him at the mercy of the robbers armed with a local pistol. The robbers shot Ajabor in the bowel at a close range for struggling with them and disappeared from the scene.
However, a team of policemen from Ogudu Police Station led by Mrs. Kalu arrived at the scene about 30 minutes later and took the hapless victim who was lying in a pool of blood to two hospitals where he was rejected for lack of bed space.
The victim was later admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, where he underwent a series of surgery.
The cost of the victim’s medical treatment was personally defrayed by Mrs. Kalu. Her re-enactment of the noble role of the Good Samaritan saved the life of the orphan whose relatives could not be reached at the time he was admitted into the ICU.
The DPO’s act of kindness caught Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s attention after it went viral in the social media, prompting the Governor to reach out to the policewoman and the victim.
Sanwo-Olu said Mrs. Kalu went beyond the limit of her official duty to save the life of the robbery victim and stressed that the policewoman’s effort was “the essence of public service” and “a true spirit of Lagos.”
The governor said her rare exemplary show of kindness should be emulated by every Lagosian. He also urged security operatives not to fall short of such act of kindness in the discharge their duties to the citizens.
Sanwo-Olu said: “I am personally amazed by this rare act of kindness displayed by Mrs. Celestina Kalu, who went beyond the official call of duty to save the life of a citizen using her personal resources. This is one of the essences of governance and public service when you have public officers going beyond the call of duty to render a helping hand to a fellow citizen.
“This is a rare trait of compassion by the DPO. We usually don’t get to witness such act of kindness, because everyone of us is too overwhelmed by myriad of personal challenges. When we see law enforcement officers giving us reasons to be kind, we need to appreciate and recognise such action. This is why we are honouring Mrs. Kalu this morning as our role model. This will encourage others to emulate this act of kindness.
“Not only that she stopped to help the victim at the point of death, she also went ahead to make financial commitment that ensured immediate treatment of the victim at the hospital. We are happy that this effort paid off because the victim is alive and he is recuperating well.”
Sanwo-Olu presented a special plaque bearing the official seal of the Lagos State Government to honour the DPO, while also taking over the cost of Ajabor’s surgery.
He urged security agencies to scale up their surveillance across the state to rid Lagos of robbers and criminals.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said the honour done to the DPO was the prize of her compassion.
Omotoso pointed out that such act of kindness was in tune with spirit of ‘Greater Lagos’ campaign of the present administration and worthy of emulation.
He noted that the state would improve in its social index when people show their fellow citizens unsolicited kindness.