RABIU LADODO: IHEDIOHA'S BODYGUARD OR CRIME FIGHTER

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A commissioner of Police has one fundamental function- to protect the citizenry, by coordinating his officers and men towards ensuring that crime of all sorts are combated effectively and reduced to the barest minimum. When a Commissioner of Police allows himself to be drawn into politics or looks the other way while politicians take actions that may adversely affect the peace and security of the State, he is deployed to, then, there is definitely a ticking time bomb that will explode, with just a matter of time.

CP Rabiu Ladodo comes forth as a gentleman officer, peaceable and professional, but his deployment to Imo State at the time he was seem to have seriously limited his professionalism, as he battles between serving the best interest of Imo people by protecting them against harassment from criminals and having a good face with the new government in power in the State. CP Rabiu seems to be overworking himself to prove to the PDP administration in the State, that even though, he was deployed to the State at a time there was an APC government, he owes his loyalty to the new governor. He doesn't seem to be convinced that he is trusted by the new government, hence, he is working very hard to seek validation from a government that seems all set to embarrass him.

The best strategy in crime fighting is preventive rather than curative, because, curing a crime is far more expensive and more difficult than preventing it. It is the duty of a security expert, especially, one at the level of CP Rabiu Ladodo to peek through actions that are most likely going to cause a breakdown of law and order and take steps to arrest such actions, before they go full circle and become more difficult to control. Of course, policemen are not magicians, they do not have a perfect strategy to arrest unrest, but through smart planning and thoughtful handling of issues, they may be able to avert a number of avoidable crisis.

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It is only one, blinded by partisanship or someone living in self-denial that would not concede that the situation in Imo State is precipitous and if nothing is done quickly to arrest the descent into anarchy, CP Rabiu Ladodo may soon be calling for help from Abuja, to help control the security situation in the State. Even the most docile political family would rather line up on the streets to be fired to death than allow the present level of intimidation and oppression targeted against associates and family members of His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha. History is replete with how attempts at stifling opposition had led to bloody civil wars across the world, especially in Africa.

While the powers of the governor as the Chief Security Officer of the State cannot be denied and the responsibility of the Commissioner of Police to help him in enforcing law and order cannot be wished away, it must be stated that the Commissioner of Police by training and experience is more experienced in security matters than the governor who is a 'bloody civilian' and it behooves on the CP to advise the governor on actions that may hurt the peace of the State. The Commissioner of Police is not an appointee of the governor and must not kowtow to every whim of the governor, even when such whims are not in conformity with the law and may destabilize the State.

CP Rabiu Ladodo must understand that he is not a bodyguard to the governor, but a co-worker with the governor, whose primary duty is to ensure that the State is safe and rid of criminal elements. It is dangerous when the Commissioner of Police allows himself or his office to be used in perpetrating any form of illegality in the State. Attaching his men with a group of thugs who break into people's homes and offices to cart away valuables, harass eminent citizens and destroy properties, is criminal and portrays the image of the Nigerian Police Force in very bad light before not just Nigerians, but the world.

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I expect the Imo State Commissioner of Police to function as the Chief Law Officer of the State rather than a bodyguard of the governor, who must obey the governor's every directive. Unless the CP believes that he is not affected by whatever happens in Imo State as he does not hail from here. But, he must recognize that the duty of ensuring the safety of every Imolite has been handed over to him by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and he will be held responsible for whatever goes wrong eventually, if not by the Presidnet, by the law and if not by the law, then, certainly by posterity.

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In this era of social media, pictures and stories travel faster to the outside world than anyone can imagine. We cannot control the number of people from outside Nigeria who read and watch videos of such embarrassing activities by the Police. It is only criminals who break into people's homes without any form of authorization. CP Rabiu Ladodo should know, considering his level of experience on the job, that the Police require a court approved warrant before entering the house of even a notorious criminal.

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The CP's relationship with the governor must not be that of boy and master and the CP must not be an 'oh yes' follower of the governor's directives. I was disappointed when I saw one of the governor's appointees defying the orders of the CP, and even shouting on top of his voice at the CP. This may be as a result of how lowly the CP has brought himself before the present government. He might have presented himself as a loyal boy rather than a leadership partner to the government, hence, the disrespect he experiences in the hands of the present governor and his appointees and thugs.

By ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES

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