In this insane times and clime where corruption and wanton disregard for the rule of Law and Order holds sway, there is an urgent, irrepressible need for heroes and heroines; true role- models with untainted hands and unblemished records, to bear the torch of justice, honesty and truth aloft, even in the face of violent opposition and daunting challenges.
One of such outstanding individuals still left in a controversial setting as the Nigeria Police Force is a woman with uncommon abilities and unparalleled resolve; a woman of timbre and calibre; a woman with the will of a lion and a heart of gold. She is a mother, a prophetess and a career Police Officer, with numerous local and International awards, citations and laurels to attest to this fact.
The irony of her story however, is that this was a woman who resolved as a little girl to join the Police Force to enforce positive changes in retaliation for a police injustice meted out to her way back then.
Today, the beautiful, fit, law enforcement officer who has come a long way since her discovery by the then sitting governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola himself while she was defiantly directing traffic despite an ensuing torrential downpour, now sits gallantly behind the DPO’s desk of the Owutu Police Station, tending to the business of maintaining Law and Order within her jurisdiction with efficient dispatch and professional courtesy.
On further investigation, it was later revealed that she got a citation, medal of distinction, and Two hundred thousand Naira as well for her gallantry and uncanny dedication to duty.
CSP Margaret Okonkwo is many things combined; prophetess by virtue of God’s Divine calling upon her life, mother, friend, counselor, mediator, negotiator, advisor, nemesis, law enforcer, judge and so many others on matters of crime, to so many people, who daily throng her office for help, financial assistance, justice or courtesy visitations.
That is how accessible an officer of high cadre like her is to her charge, unlike some uncouth, uncivilized personnel of lower ranks and cadre.
It was so amazing to also learn that she even had her direct cellphone number painted on walls in strategic locations around the station to forestall situations where members of the public are denied access to her by over-zealous or racketeering officers!
During our time with her in the roomy confines of her air-conditioned office, she spoke on many issues including Crime, Community Policing, Cultism, Rape and some her ingenious methods of tackling crime. She gave a no-holds- barred account of her negotiations and intermediary tacticts in averting mayhem and cult-related unrest within her Division, which is why it is one of the safest area to live within Ikorodu. She corroborated the joint efforts of CDAs, local vigilantes, general public and the Police in exposing and prosecuting criminals with prompt dispatch.
She touched on the issue of Rape and stressed the non-compromising stance of the government to try and jail convicted rapists. She was also quick to mention the Police’s alliance with the Department for Social Welfare and Girl-child Rights Advocates in counselling, confirming and rehabilitating the victims.
On the issue of Corruption within the Police Force, she pointed out that it is what the community puts into the Force that would be churned back out to reflect on that same community.
Citing some classical examples of Police Misconducts, she explained that unlike the bad misconceptions of total corruption and indiscipline that most people have about all policemen, many would be surprised to learn that the Force requires highest levels of integrity and discipline in it’s higher echelons. she stated that many of the atrocities which are widely reported mostly result from the misadventures of errant rank and file personnel.
She said she is aware that there are always bad cops within every community which every new DPO inherits but must learn to manage or do away with, and that she is always on the lookout for such bad eggs whom are promptly disciplined, redeployed or dismissed.
The sad thing about this bad trend, she mused, is that it is always the people in charge who get axed when issues run amok.
She commended the press for its efforts at keeping Nigerians enlightened and informed, while stressing the need for more cooperation between Police, and gentlemen of the fourth estate.