Alhaji Mamman Sule is Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police Fellow of the National war College (FWC), he says that Ebonyi State is relatively more peaceful than any of her neighbours. In this Interview with KUNLE SANNI, CP Sule assures the people of the state to go about the yuletide season without fear as his command has put all necessary security measures in place to ensure a hitch-free Christmas and New year celebrations. Excerpts:
Sir, can you briefly tell us about yourself?
I am CP Maman Sule (FWC), commissioner of police Ebonyi State. FWC stands for Fellow of the National War College.
What was the state of security situation in the state before you are posted here?
The security situation as the time I arrived here, there were few cases of kidnapping. The day I took over from my predecessor, the next day there was a case of kidnapping where one pharmacist in town was kidnapped but later it ended in a sorry situation. He was taking to Anambra State and from there the man did not return it was only his corpse that was found. But immediately after that, I had to solicit for the cooperation of the people here so that whenever there’s a case of kidnapping, they should immediately report to the nearest police station.
This is because the first one that took place, where the victim died; the matter was not reported to the police. It was after two days of the incident that the matter was reported. That was after two days that the kidnapping took place. And because of that I had to solicit the support of the people here, the Ebonyians, so that whenever there’s a case of kidnapping and other crimes, they should not waste time, they should immediately report to the nearest police station. And that one I can say it has paid.
This is because there was one time we had another kidnap issue; where one Nurse Obaji from a Hospital was kidnapped at Ezzamgbo. She was kidnapped on Thursday, immediately after the kidnap, the matter was reported to the police. From there I telephoned the DPO of the area, I telephoned the neighbouring states; Benue, Enugu, infact I got in touch with all our neighbouring states.
We also telephoned our force headquarter Abuja where we eventually sought assistance for a tracker and eventually the woman was released on Saturday. Since that time if there a case of kidnapping, the victims will eventually be liberated through police assistance. Infact we have cases of kidnapping that are pending in court. We have over four cases of kidnapping where the victims were released and the suspects arrested and there are other suspects that being investigated at the state CID.
Some are awaiting trial. Relatively Ebonyi State is peaceful when compared to our neighbouring states.
What is the secret of our success in this job of protection of lives and property?
The secret of my success is that we have built mutual understanding with the people of Ebonyi state, the corporate officers. Information is the most important thing to us here and we get useful information from the public which enable us to perform our statutory duties. Similarly the state government is helping us a lot with all the necessary logistics that we need. That’s the secret.
What are some of challenges your men and officers face here?
Our major challenge here is the issue of communication. There’s a breakdown of our communication equipment which we use to reach out to the officers and men at the various local government areas. You know we have a radio system which police use for their communications. So since the breakdown of our mast in 2010 we have not been communicating very well. We are now relying heavily on the GSM service providers.
When I took over, I wrote to the state government to come to our aid, to provide communication gadgets for us so that we can put our big set in order to be functional as before, infact the state government approved our request. Already the building is under construction now where a joint operations control (OPS) station will be. It is the state government that is taking the entire responsibility.
Similarly, the state government entered into contract with Motorola Company to provide communication gadgets to the police here. So as soon as this joint OPS control station is complete, and the mast restored; infact when you go outside you’ll see the equipment for the installation of the mast. A new mast is being built to replace the fallen one. So the entire local government councils will be connected.
The state government intended to install masts in all the local government areas of the state with one in the police headquarters, making it fourteen so that problem of communication will be a thing of the past. Already the contractors have moved to sites; those installing masts at the local governments and the construction work of our joint OPS control station. So we thank the state government who came to our aid.
I am sure that by the time the communication gadgets are there and by the time the project is completed, we will invite our IGP to come and commission it; both the control room and the communication gadgets.
How long has this project lasted?
The contract just commenced last week, the building of the control station commenced last week. If you go out of my office now you’ll see the place.
The Christmas season is around the corner, what assurance are you giving the people as regards security of lives and property within the period?
Infact we have drawn our operation order to that effect and we are assuring the Ebonyian’s that the state will be adequately covered. Security will be put place in Christmas and New Year celebrations. I met with my Divisional Police Officers on Tuesday and even yesterday we met here in my office to map out our security strategies which I will not disclose to you here.
What is your advice to the people of the state?
My advice is that people should not take laws into their hands. People should be law abiding. Also people should report any suspicious movement that might likely cause breach of peace, they should let us know on time and if any offence is committed, they should report promptly to the nearest police station.
Lastly the parents should warn their wards to be law abiding. They should not take laws into their hands and if anyone is wronged he/she should seek redress in law court or report to the nearest police station.