‘Policing is an integral part of governance. It is a whole, but it is also a part of the larger whole. Just like a human organ like the head, it’s got intelligence, stamina, strategy and surveillance. But it cannot function independently in the absence of other life-sustaining organs’ – Kiran Bedi
The quote above by the first woman to join the officer ranks of the Indian Police Service (IPS) aptly describes the import of policing to any society, and in our own context, the Nigeria Police Force to the Nigerian society.
With this quote also, the woman who went ahead to become the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, critically propounds four major qualities that an admirable Police officer must possess – intelligence, stamina, strategy, and surveillance – to excel in service of the society.
The admirable Police officer – despite these qualities – must also recognize that he/she cannot do it alone. He/she needs other officers, the community, and other stakeholders in the security architecture to succeed. This second angle puts the officer in check – if the successes came by shared responsibility, the accolades must also be shared.
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu calls CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi, fdc, mnim, psc ‘Mr. Peace’ because of his calm but firm disposition to security issues in Lagos, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report. With that style, the gentle man police officer has probably achieved more within the 365 days than what some CPs will achieve in 4 years.
This is what CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi has exhibited in his one year as the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State Command.
CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi, fdc, mnim, psc hit the ground running on 24th January 2022 in Ikeja, Lagos with his unique perspective and proactive strategy ensuring that all the gains of the past were retained and maintained while enacting new ones. For example, in the last three and half years, Lagos has kept a clean slate on bank robberies with no incident reported. The gallant officers under his leadership are standing strong against less conventional crimes like kidnapping and terrorism which try to rear their ugly heads in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.
To put in clearer, simpler perspective, NAOSNP cite three instances.
Felabration 2022 with the theme ‘Fear Not for man’ was probably the cleanest ever in the history of the Annual Global Music Festival. The Alausa Police division led by CSP Oluwatoyin Elizabeth Opadola under which jurisdiction Alausa CBD, the location of the Afrikan Shrine, is covered by the Police revealed to NAOSNP that from their records of October year 2022, not one incident from the weeklong event came into their books. This means no theft, no attack, no rape, no gang violence, no vice, no car stealing, no crime was brought into the case file or report room of the Alausa Police station with direct link to the music festival in 2022.
This is a far cry from what the Police officers in the station witnessed from previous editions of Felabration.
The music festival honors the life and times of late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
From Monday 10th – Sunday 17th October, 2022, this edition was also adjudged the edition with the most attendance by the organizers. It featured symposium, debates, fashion show, dance competition, artwork competition, and a 7-day music contest.
This success in security for Felabration is linked to the proactive stance of CP Abiodun Alabi. The event is a big plus to Lagos economy. This annual music fest has a huge importance on Lagos arts, culture, and tourism. The event draws huge followership from within and outside Nigeria.
Thus, the CP ensured that security in and around the Felabration venue was beefed up before, during, and after the carnival. And the CP ensured that it went hitch-free. The result was obvious with the no-crime situation report from Alausa Police Station.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential campaign which held on Saturday 26th Nov. 2022 at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere is another huge success story. Simply phenomenal, the contingent of party stalwarts and members that trooped to the venue from across the Country on that day. National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can attest to the fact that the crowd outside the stadium was even more than those inside it.
Yet, the security component of the event was handled in such a way that it brought admiration and pride to Lagosians and the Nigerian citizenry.
To the praise of the crowd management capacity of the Lagos State Police Command under CP Sylvester Alabi, we can confirm that event was successful security-wise. No stampede, no casualty, no incident, no attack, and no violence were recorded as CP Alabi marshalled the DCP Operations, Area Commanders, the RRS and Taskforce Commanders among others to ensure the safety and security of lives, limbs, and livelihood at the event.
Alabi also has a powerful collaboration with the DSS, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Airforce, Nigeria Navy, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos Neighborhood Safety Agency (LNSA), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and other allied agencies not minding whether they are federal or state. As long as they are founded for the security of Nigerians, the CP will gladly join forces with them and is always first to show appreciation to them for achievements made.
Ahead of Wednesday, 21st September, 2022, the members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) declared that they will shut down the 11.8km-long Third Mainland Bridge from vehicular movement. This, in their way, is to press home their demands for an end to the prolonged industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
In a fatherly manner, CP Abiodun Alabi engaged with the students, made them see that though their grievance against the protracted strike which began 14th February 2022 was valid, their intended action could have far-reaching consequences which may blow out of everyone’s hands. He also made them see the great importance of the bridge to Lagos, nay Nigeria’s economy and the infringement of the rights of millions of individuals who ply the road, especially that other bridges are undergoing construction.
At the same time, being a strategic operation officer, CP Alabi wouldn’t take chances. In case some unscrupulous elements who are not part of an organized group want to take advantage, he ensured that Police officers were stationed on both ends of the bridge on the day of the planned protest. Thankfully, the protest didn’t hold.
This is not because of the use of force but civility and professionalism demonstrated by the Lagos Commissioner of Police. It would be recalled that an earlier protest by the same student body led to the blockage of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and crippled activities in the country’s busiest airport in 2022.
SHARED RESPONSIBILITY, SHARED ACCOLADE
The gentlemanly Alabi believes strongly in synergy and collaboration over grandstanding. He loves to have a shared success story. On his assumption of office, NAOSNP can attest to him being the first to visit the heads of some security agencies and other allied agencies as a way to show readiness to work with them. There is no ‘big-man-show’ in his participation.
If there is anything that CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi is known to do, it is that he is quick to openly applaud the contributions of others who participated in any achievement attributed to him and the Nigeria Police, Lagos State Command. This camaraderie has contributed tremendously to the great work at Nigeria Police, Lagos State Command. The security agencies, communities, and other stakeholders are glad to work with him by providing adequate manpower and machineries to facilitate the collaboration.
At the same time, he is one to openly applaud his officers for a job well done. He readily gives his officers the opportunity to showcase their capacity and motivates them to success. He allows them to shine.
He also gives his nod to deserving commanders and officers when they are nominated for awards and promotions. When people recognize his officers for good work, he allows them to be accorded the respect and approves of it.
The recent NAOSNP National Security Conference held on the 21st September, 2022 is a good example in which we put forward names of deserving officers under his Command. He readily approved of it, was excited about it, and was even physically present at the event to see a number of his senior and junior officers stand on the big stage to be awarded with the respected presence of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG In charge of Zone 2, AIG Bode Adeleke at the NAOSNP Conference. This is top notch leadership.
Also, upon the promotion and transfer of CP Adegoke Fayoade, formerly the DCP in charge of State CID, Panti and 4 others, CP Sylvester Alabi organized a befitting sendforth party. At the event, he remarked: ‘This is the second time that 2 DCPs working with me will be promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Police. I believe it is a big omen and a sign of glory and I thank God for that. We also have 2 ACPs to DCPs, 3 CSPs to ACP. I am also happy during my tenure that it is happening in Lagos State Command, to God be the glory.
On CP Adegoke Fayoade who is now the Commissioner of Police, Armament at Force HQ, Abuja, the Lagos CP added: ‘Fayoade has been my friend for the past 28 years. We have been navigating the problem of policing in Nigeria together. One particular interesting thing is that when he was getting married, I was his best man.’
‘I never knew I am coming to Lagos State Command but that is Providence. For the past 10 months, he has been working with me as subordinate and as friend. He has never let my relationship with him to affect his productivity. He didn’t abuse the familiarity. I want to thank God for the wife at home because when you have rest of mind, you will be able to do what you are supposed to do. There is a great difference between DCP and CP, continue to be principled, avoid distraction, be steadfast. Congratulations again I wish you the best. We are just starting, we will get to the peak of our careers’, NAOSNP can report.
SUCCEEDING WITH THE COMMUNITY
CP Abiodun Alabi underscores the fact that policing must come with the people in mind.
He encourages the men and officers under his Command to be civil and not compromise standards.
To emphasizing his strong commitment and belief in community participation, CP Alabi has in many public gatherings announced his phone number so that members of the public can reach him. Also, he runs open-door policy and says ‘my lines are open’.
Many leaders say that but do they really fulfill it? He picks his phone on many occasions. He is really receptive to the general public.
His harmonious relationship with the Police-Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in Lagos recently yielded a brand new gate for the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command in Ikeja GRA, Lagos.
At the project commissioning, CP Abiodun Alabi noted: ‘Today is a remarkable day for us. I want to appreciate what PCRC has been doing for this Command. When I came, I realized that the gate needs to be given a facelift because it is becoming obsolete and I was discussing it with my O/C Works.
Fortunately, Apostle Kehinde Showemimo was in my office and he just keyed into our discussion that PCRC can take it up. I said if that is wish of the PCRC, it is a welcome development. They started the project in earnest and that is what we are seeing today. In addition, they gave us generator to power electricity in our environment.’
Applauding the leadership and membership of the PCRC in Lagos, ‘I have said it at different forum that in my career serving the Nigeria Police, I will say that Lagos PCRC is the most formidable. They have done wonderfully well. Beyond projects, they are involved in training and retraining of our personnel, information and intelligence gathering which has helped us to make Lagos relatively peaceful. So the success in Lagos is not only the Police efforts, it is the collective efforts of PCRC’, CP Alabi said.
At this point, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can adjudge CP Abiodun Alabi as the best media-friendly Commissioner of Police in Nigeria. He doesn’t joke with the media. His doors are open for the media. His numbers are reachable for the media. He is responsive to the media.
REELING OUT CP ALABI’S PERFORMANCE IN ALMOST 1 YEAR IN LAGOS COMMAND
CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi fdc, mnim, psc is fondly and accurately called Omowale – our son has returned – by many Lagosians. The proud Ekiti man is a thoroughbred Lagosian.
He is proudly a student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). He has served Lagos on many occasions before he returned as the Commissioner of Police. In April 2004, he became Squadron Commander of Police Mobile Force Squadron 43 Lagos (Diplomatic Protection Squadron) in charge of the security of all Embassies in Lagos.
After he was demobilised from the Police Mobile Force in June 2009 as a Chief Superintendent of Police, he was posted to Lion Building Divisional Headquarters as the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and later redeployed as the DPO of Ikeja Divisional Headquarters, Lagos respectively.
The man possesses the professional ethic, prowess, and capacity to lead arguably the most significant State Command in the Nigeria Police.
On this new sojourn, he brought a new policing mindset – one that comes with a heart, a team, and people in mind – into the system. He cares about the welfare of his officers. The issue of brutality is fast fading off in Lagos. When you have a good leader, you are energized and spurred to good work.
His tenure covering the significant portion of the period in review, the CP Alabi reeled out the successes of the Lagos State Command from Sept. 2021 – Oct. 2022 at the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) Annual Town Hall Meeting 2022.
‘Out of the 170 robbery incidents carried out by the hoodlums, 149 were foiled while 21 were successful with 146 suspects arrested in connection with the crimes. 128 among the armed robbery suspects arrested have been charged to court while investigation into the cases involving others is ongoing. In the same vein, 52 cases of cult related cases and arrest of 240 cultists were recorded during the period. All suspects have been arraigned before the court and their trial is progressing.’
‘It is also noteworthy to mention that 14 vehicles were stolen by hoodlums in the state while 30 were recovered. The figure of recovered vehicles includes those stolen from other states but brought to Lagos for disposal’, NAOSNP gathered.
Further, in the 2022 security meeting with Gov. Sanwo-Olu themed: ‘LSSTF Stewardship: A review of our activities in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda of the Lagos State Government’, the Ekiti-born CP continued: ‘A total number of 324 murder cases with 345 victims were recorded while 409 suspects were arrested. Out of the 409 murder suspects arrested, 339 have been charged to court while investigation is ongoing on other cases. All suspects charged to court have been remanded in correctional service custody for continuation of their trial.’
’89 different arms and 376 assorted ammunitions with 280 other dangerous weapons and cudgels were recovered during the period. A total number of 2957 social miscreants arrested and charged to court were convicted accordingly with punishments ranging from fine, communal service to imprisonment awarded to them.
Also 8105 motorcycles were impounded for plying restricted routes while 5911 vehicles were contravened for commuting on BRT corridor.’
‘On children and gender related matters, 433 cases of rape/defilement, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and indecent assault were recorded with 330 suspects arrested. 272 suspects among those arrested have had their days in court, 94 of these suspects have been convicted while others are still undergoing trial. A case of kidnapping recorded during the period was successfully resolved. The victims were rescued and reunited with their families while suspects were arrested and charged to court accordingly.’
WHAT OTHERS SAID ABOUT CP ABIODUN ALABI
‘Very able and capable. I call him Mr. Peace’ – Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos state.
The acting Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (retd) commended CP Alabi and his men and officers. ‘The Police are doing a good job in Lagos and they could also replicate in all other states and parts of the country. Lagos is a model of how to handle security situations.’
She also thanked the Governor of Lagos State for the support of his administration which has enhanced the capacity of the Lagos State Police Command. ‘This is basically why we are here, to appreciate the Governor and that he should continue with the good work.’
‘We can see that security is top notch in Lagos and there is a lot of safety here and we wish and desire that other states within the country will also emulate Lagos because of the security situation which is top notch’, Ogunbiyi said.
‘For me leadership is everything. If you want nations, institutions, families that excel, everything starts from leadership. What you see in Lagos state command is a reflection of the quality of who CP Alabi is. When you are good in what you do, your followers will do same. When you lead well, you will attract good things. I am so happy to be associated with the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State Command and I am sure PCRC is also’ – Dr. Ayodele Ogunsan, Member of the Board of Trustees, Lagos State Securiity Trust Fund (LSSTF) and Patron of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) Lagos state.
‘I say he is one of the best Commissioners of Police in Nigeria. We thank God for the life of our CP Alabi. He is always there to encourage PCRC in our support for the Nigeria Police. You can see a lot of projects under the chairmanship of Apostle Showemimo. It is to boost the morale of Nigeria Police in protecting the lives and properties. Apostle Kehinde Showemimo is complementing the efforts of the CP. We can say that across the state, all your DPOs are PCRC-friendly because they know what you stand for. I have to commend IGP Usman Alkali Baba for giving us the personality of CP Alabi which befits this state and we can see how everywhere is peaceful and how Police in Lagos is policing with human face. You can also see how PCRC and Police are working like twin brother’ – Alhaji Mogaji Olaniyan, National Chairman, Police-Community Relations Committee (PCRC).
He said: I have to commend the IGP Usman Alkali Baba for leading the Police in the right direction. We also appreciate the IGP because if he got it wrong in Lagos state, it is all over. I thank Almighty Allah for his life, I know him as ACP in Ekiti state where he was the pillar of PCRC. Even up till now, he is still a pillar for PCRC in the state.’
‘He is a community-inclined police officer. He engages the community so we can ensure crime prevention and control’ – Apostle Kehinde Showemimo, Chairman of Lagos PCRC.
‘He is an excellent man. All we have to do is encourage him to do more. Lagos is safe, Lagos can be safer, it is not far-fetched. It is through the efforts of security agencies in Lagos’ – Jude Ndu, Secretary of Lagos PCRC