The retiring Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone XI, Osogbo, Mr Babatunde Ajani, has said that police operational independence from political control may not be attainable in view of the constitutional provisions.
Ajani, just retiring after 33 years in police service, stated this during his retirement/farewell speech in Osogbo on Tuesday.
The retiring AIG, who was in charge of Osun and Oyo police commands, expressed the regret over what he called incursion of politics into policing, warning that if care was not taken, this might affect effective operations of the police in the country.
“I wish to thank the politicians who govern us. Policing and politics can be uneasy bed fellows, perhaps best kept at a respectful distance from each other.
“With the present constitutional provisions, the idea of operational independence from political control is not attainable.
“As a police officer, you may promise to serve without fear or favour but it is very difficult to stay out of politics.
“Politics has increasingly got stuck into policing and if we are not careful, politics can get into the way of policing.” he said.
Ajani equally called on the public to assist, support and help the police, stating that their work was becoming overwhelming due to rising population and crimes, even in the face of dwindling police strength.
“I have been privileged to work with extraordinary people of courage and compassion, of heroism and humanity, of bravery and brilliance, of determination and that precious old-fashioned thing called duty.
“But crime is rising; population is increasing, officers’ numbers are falling, meaning that we need your help and support more than ever before.
“Although you demand high expectations from us, you also need to understand the incredible pressures we now face.
“The truth is that we will always do our job better when we do it side-by-side with you,” he said.
In their joint remarks, the Police Commissioners of Osun and Oyo states, Olawale Olokode and Ngozi Onadeko respectively, extolled the virtues of the retiring AIG, thanking God for his life and service to humanity.
Olokode, who said that he was proud of working with Ajani, added that they were both enlisted into the police service in 1988.
He stated further that the retiring police officer had serviced the nation to the best of his ability.
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