Good afternoon Gentlemen of the Press.
It is with profound pleasure that I welcome you all to this epoch making event being my Maiden Press Briefing/Chat with all the Journalists in the State.
I am deeply honoured to be in your midst today as we come together to chat yet another course in policing the Rivers State Police Command.
May I at this point, sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence of the 19th Indigenous Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni who found me worthy to be posted to the State, to continue from where my colleague, CP Zaki M. Ahmed stopped.
Understandably, CP Zaki M. Ahmed has laid a solid foundation upon which I promise to build on and to sustain the legacies left behind. Though CP Zaki Ahmed's shoes are too big but with your tacit support as the fourth Estate of the realm, I shall no doubt surmount the challenges.
As you all know, Rivers State is Strategic to the Economic well being of the country, it therefore follows that so much need to be put in to curtail the security challenges that will naturally prop up, giving the peculiar Socio/Economic Environment of the State.
Gentlemen of the Press, let me state categorically that, I have a mandate in line with the vision and mission of the Inspector General of Police among which include, policing with International best practices, Rule of Law and Respect for fundamental Human Rights. All these I promise to pursue to their logical conclusions and giving the caliber of officers and men the Command is blessed with, I have no doubt that, together we shall fight all criminal elements in the State to a stand still. Rivers State will not be habitable for them anymore. I promise to declare a total war against violent crimes.
THE PLANK UPON WHICH MY ADMINISTRATION WILL REST INCLUDES:
INTELLIGENCE LED POLICING.
A Cosmopolitan State like Rivers with huge Economic and Academic Institutions no doubt attracts high population and corresponding ratio of criminal element. The Police are expected to keep tract and ensure the streets are safe. No security initiative is complete in the present circumstance without recourse to Intelligence generated through our numerous platforms. These are to be processed and analysed into actionable finished products. We shall invest in building a data base for all arrested suspects and exhibits collected at crime scene to facilitate identity of criminals. The era of unknown suspects will be drastically reduced. Efforts will be geared towards networking all police stations in line with the Inspector General of Police to exchange real time.
CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS:
One area of mutual distrust and conflict has been in the area of service delivery. The Police is often perceived to be high handed and rude in the discharge of her constitutional responsibility to the society without empathy. This disconnect has been responsible for a seeming lack of cooperation and a seamless harmonious working relationship. To address this gap, a more regular session will be created to discuss issues across neighborhoods and a viable option recommended. This shall be replicated at all levels in the Command. The essence is a sustained regime of accountability and renewed trust.
RECOVERY OF ILLEGAL ARMS :
It has been brought to my knowledge that the major problem across the state has been an orgy of violence unleashed on the populace by non state actors who have access to illegal firearms. These lethal weapons have been used to kill, maim and rob victims; this situation is most unfortunate. A massive onslaught is being packaged to contain this menace. We shall be very unrelenting in our efforts to clampdown on cult groups, organized criminal gangs and unlicensed firearm holders, to recover such unlawful weapons. To this end, more avenues at seeking collaboration and working synergy with sister military and security services will be jealously exploited to tackle this development at the strategic levels.
HOMICIDE/KIDNAPPING AND ARMED ROBBERY INVESTIGATIONS:
A lot of undetected crimes exist. While victims and their families are in pains, assailants have not been brought to book. We shall restructure, task and strengthen our tactical units and other investigative units to ensure that suspects at large are brought to account. An aggressive and raids of all criminal hideouts will be undertaking across the state to further decimate the comfort zones of unscrupulous persons. Our detectives are called upon to ensure proper investigation of complaints to the best acceptable service standards.
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPTION AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS:
The enforcement of extant laws may come with a measure of discomfort which is not intended. I am going to ensure that innocent persons are not detained unlawfully and denied their liberty. Supervising officers are expected to superintend over the raids of suspects and applied diligence. Every complaint of corrupt practices shall be investigated and persons found culpable shall be sanctioned. The Provost unit and X-squad in the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) shall be reinvigorated to be better able to perform their oversight of personnel conducts, to be complemented by the IGP's X-Squad and Monitoring teams.
I wish to affirm that I shall provide a credible leadership that is professional, responsive and accountable, that is able to tab and explore our rich man power base to impact on our mandate. I shall be very apolitical and professional since they are the principles behind democratic policing. All formations have been directed to draw up an action plan to actualize an immediate arrest of heinous crimes as specific to their areas and this will be reviewed regularly.
IN SUMMARY, MY VISION AND MISSION INCLUDE:
To fight crime and disorder in the State and ensure that crime and criminality are brought to a tolerable level under my watch I shall try as much as possible to insulate myself from politics, because politics is a distraction to policing. I promise to be professional, focused and non partisan in the discharge of my duties.
The Command under my watch will encourage and promote intelligence- led policing and community partnership. We shall also embark on visibility policing. The presence of the Police shall be felt by all and sundry. We shall not only detect crimes but prevent them.
I will put in place some proactive measures, aimed at preventing crime and that will include, stationing patrol vehicles at all strategic places in the state. We belief that the presence of Police scars criminals. This we shall catch in on as a deliberate policy.
I pledge to fight crimes and criminality headlong. Rivers State shall not be conducive anymore for criminals. We shall be proactive in our policing. Intelligence gathering shall be the hallmark of my administration. We shall embark on regular raids of criminal hideouts, the ban on road block is still in force but I shall put in place decent stop and search mechanism which shall aid us in tracking kidnappers and armed robbers with the sole aim of recovering stolen properties.
Clearly, violent crimes such as Armed Robbery, kidnapping and Murder are all energies by cultism. To this end therefore, the Command under my watch shall fight these crimes to a conclusive end. The Tactical Units shall also be repositioned for better productivity.
I am very open to constructive criticisms and I welcome all manner of suggestions that will aid my administration.
Once again let me on behalf of the officers and men of the Command thank you for coming and wish to reaffirm our commitment to serve the good people of Rivers State with a renewed Vigor. Hence I strongly solicit your cooperation and understanding to accomplish the task ahead.
The Press are a critical stake holders in the fight against crime and criminality, I therefore invite you to join forces with me to make the State safe and secure.
Understandably, I have been told that there is a strong synergy and good working relationship with the Command, I want to encourage you to sustain it. And as always I enjoin you to objective in your reportage in line with the ethics of your profession.
To the good people of Rivers State, I pledge to work assiduously with my team to deliver quality and productive policing to you. You will once again
enjoy a more peaceful Rivers State, where you can go about your lawful businesses and other activities unmolested.
In the same vein, may I also extend my pledge to the government of Rivers State as under my watch I shall entrench good working relationship with the Government to achieve our common goals of making the environment conducive. Hence I strongly solicit the support of the Government in terms of provision of logistics and other assistance I may require in the course of my duty.
Once again thanks for coming and may God Almighty see us through in our avowed commitment to serve the state and the country at large.
Thanks and God bless.
CP USMAN ALHASSAN BELEL
Commissioner Of Police Rivers State Command