Mixed feelings as 21/2002 course police cadets reunite

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By Christopher Oji

This was mixed for members of the Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP) Cadet Course 21/2002 as they reunited in Lagos after 20 years of joining the force.

The officers, who were posted to different states and formations after graduating from the Police Academy, shed tears of joy and mourned their fallen colleagues at the same time.

Some of them have been promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police (ACP), while the majority are still in the rank of Commissioner General of Police (CSP), but regardless of their rank, they are still considered classmates.

As the meeting was held first at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, for a health walk, where they relived the good old days and shared joyful moments, at the conference venue, as part of t activities to mark the reunion, the mood darkened when the officers saw the photographs of 45 members of their course who had died. Some of them couldn’t hold back their tears and cried when they identified friends during their time at the police academy.

The officer in charge of the Police Traffic Section of the Lagos State Police Command (MOTOPOL), CSP Oriyomi Titilayo Oluwasanmi, who could not hide his emotions after going through the list of deceased colleagues, said said: “We have created a WhatsApp group where we interact and disseminate information, even when we announce the death of colleagues. But I didn’t know that up to 45 of us had gone to meet the Lord. We were about 425 to start this trip and 45 left. It’s too much for me to bear.

“I remember vividly one of them died while I was serving at the Lion Building. I personally led a team that took his body to his hometown for burial. I came here to dinner and wine with my colleagues. After seeing the photographs of our dead heroes, I had a gut worry. I wanted to go home, but I had to stay behind to see the others because we we might not have the opportunity to see each other again like this. Some came from distant places; some of us hold more delicate positions across the country and do not have time to fraternize. so a great opportunity to embrace our colleagues. In 14 years we will all be retiring. We may not have the opportunity to meet again for another 20 years. May God stop these deaths among us.

Chairman of the anniversary committee, ACP Sanusi Jidda, reflecting on their journey since 2002 when they were conscripted into the police force, said: “We started together, precisely, on August 15, 2002. By the grace of God, it is 20 years today, and we may not be able to come together like we did today because in the next few years some of us will be retiring and others may have left the service.

“After 20 years, we have really come a long way. We decided to come together to move forward and make suggestions on the way forward to improve the Nigerian Police. After this event, we will have a press release to send to the competent authorities. We have had an impact in the force, as the majority of our classmates are in sensitive positions across the country. My only regret is that 45 of those who started with us died while serving the nation. May their souls rest in peace.

“I plead with the government to do more for the welfare of the police and the men to make them more efficient and perform their duties effectively.”

Also speaking, Anniversary Committee Secretary, CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, noted that reform is underway in the Nigerian Police Force under the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, who is keen to clean up the service.

“We can all see how bad eggs among the police are dealt with. Reform starts with leadership, and that’s what we have leading our IG now. He sacrifices everything to make sure the police are respectful of the people. He tried to restore people’s trust in the police and that’s why he seriously dealt with errant policemen, as we can all see.

“We want the people, the community, to walk with us while rebuilding the police, and that’s why we’ve labeled our anniversary ‘Walk with the Police’. Everyone should walk with us so that we can have a peaceful society. This set I mean ASP Course 21 is unique among other police in Nigeria. You can attest that every police officer in this set works hard, as many of us have carved out a place for ourselves in the line of duty, with national and international awards and community recognition.

Okuwobi, who was the former DPD of Ejigbo Divisional Police Station in Lagos and former Public Relations Officer for the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, and Delta and Ondo State Police Commands, warned officers on duty to the police with the fear of God and to establish good relations with the civilian population and society in general, because they would return to the same society after their retirement.

“Whether you like it or not, we have to step down from the force and members of the public are watching. We will reap whatever we sow. If you do good, good will follow you, but if you do evil, evil will haunt you. I thank God that in our course people bear witness to our good conduct.

Speaking about the fact that there were only a few women in their category, CSP Veronica Ameh Akpa, the Officer in Charge, Zonal Intelligence Bureau, Zone 2, Lagos, said, “I know you are all witnesses to this. . We have held very sensitive positions that women have never held. We are up to the task, and I will say that 20 years later, I think we are doing well.

“One of the biggest challenges we have faced is losing our colleagues. We started with around 400 ASP cadets, but lost over 45 officers in the process. Some died doing the job and c “is very disheartening. But we thank God because they paid the ultimate price. We are doing well. Our classmate, Yinka Egbeyemi, was the former chairperson of the Lagos State Task Force and currently the Commanding Officer from the Lagos State Police Command Rapid Response Squad one of us Olumuyiwa Adejobi is the Force Public Relations Officer and you can see what they are Do. Our classmates are doing well.

“We are going to write this story. I believe we will get there. Course 21 will do that. I want to be modest. I will say that people like me, Seyi, the chairman of the planning committee, and many others have made this course unique. We have said that we must come together to serve the country selflessly, and that is why the 21 course stands out. We said we will never give up. There is no No! We don’t have a No in our dictionary. It’s always Yes. Front, front, we have to succeed, and that is why Course 21 is unique, and I am convinced that one of us will one day become the IGP.

The two-day anniversary event included an endurance march, as they walked from Ikeja Police College, across Oba Ladejobi Street to Joel Ogunnaike, via Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way and back to Police College.

They were also lectured on topics such as “Promoting friendly police and public safety in contemporary Nigeria”, “Pre-retirement plans and living happily after retirement” and “Safe, healthy and sustainable diets/lifestyles for police officers over the age of 40”. years”, given by Charles Ironagbe, a doctor, Dr. Amure Olusola, and a retired policeman, Obafemi Gbemileke Abiodun, respectively.

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