COMPOL Ciroma: A pride for the Nigeria Police
By Barr Gimba
It is my belief that public servants should not be praised for doing their jobs but some are not just public servants but individuals that define their generations through selfless service that makes the motherland proud and sacrifices that have contributed in reshaping modern bureaucratic settings. Certainly, such individuals must be emulated, their attitudes praised, their labour not allowed to be in vain and their stories read and reread, told and retold so the current and future generations may learn and follow their footsteps. It is for these reasons that today I will sing the song of an unsung hero.
Commissioner of Police Bala Ciroma is widely regarded as a shrewd crack detective and is one of the best –if not the best – investigative minds we have in Nigeria and his promotion to Commissioner of Police of the FCT Command on 19th July, 2018 is more than deserved. He has made a lot of key decisions since his appointment and has gradually but definitely boosted the morale of officers and gained the confidence of the common man.
He admitted in his first interview as COMPOL that the job in Abuja is very challenging, and rightly so. Since the change of the nation’s capital to Abuja, the city has witnessed an influx of people from all parts of the country – in search of greener pasture; but an obvious disadvantage of large cities is that the pasture is not greener to people with a legitimate source of income alone, as criminals lie in wait, camouflaged amongst us and hoping people achieve their aims of coming to the Capital, so they can pickoff from the legitimate earnings of hardworking Nigerians. And this is one of the main reasons why complex jobs like these require a man like Bala Ciroma, who is seasoned in Criminal Intelligence and Investigation. He has thus, been able to monitor the influx of people without infringing on their fundamental rights and the Police has, with a new found vigour and restored confidence, given the City a new lease of life by nabbing criminals with little or no fuss.
But the more secure a place becomes, the more likely it is for new threats to emerge and it did in the form of “one-chance” robbery in taxis, new cases of rape, cultism and some of the City’s Big Men thinking and acting like they are above the law – while not all of the crimes take the lawful earnings of others, they include sexual assault and violation of the Constitution, and the Rights of others enshrined in it. But as the cases evolve, so has the Police Force under his stewardship. He has setup specialized units in the Criminal Intelligence and Investigative Department (CIID) to handle rape cases and “one chance” robberies – making response to such cases swifter.
The law is above all, he has warned and no one – irrespective of tribe, religion and social status is above it. Big Men have been warned and the Police empowered to go after them without fear or favour. Police Officers too, are not left out as his investigation of the murder of Anita Akpason (when he was the Deputy Com Pol CIID) revealed. He also investigated the case of Maryam Sanda, who was suspected of killing her husband Bilyaminu Bello, and her mother who was suspected to have concealed evidence of the crime.
Despite the achievements, he is not resting on his oars and has maintained that Police alone cannot fight crime and has stretched his hands to the general public; partnering with active citizens, road transport unions and security groups. He is a staunch advocate of proper parenting and has been very loud in calling for greater involvement of parents in early childhood development and protection, for if left unchecked children are susceptible to negative peer pressure or picking bad traits from bad elements in the society.
He also led the team that arrested the members of the infamous armed robbery gang led by Dr. Ola Solomon Jimade and also investigated the killing of seven police men in Abuja. It is evident that he is a man on a mission and it is not just to stop crime but to nip it in the bud, improve partnership and communication between police and the citizens, make everyone equal before the law again and create a platform for the NPF to grow and evolve into a truly modern Police Force. It is on this premise that I believe he earned a place in the Police Service Commission and also got appointed as a key member of a committee inaugurated by the IGP in 2016 to review the Nigeria Police Investment Companies; the Nigeria Police Cooperative, the NPF Pensions Ltd, the Police Property Development and Construction Company, the Police Microfinance Bank, the Police Health Maintenance and the NPF Mortgage Bank.
And this is just one of a few instances where he is involved in shaping the structure or affairs of the NPF as he has since his first appointment as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) on 3rd March 1990 held various positions and performed admirably. He was the head of Operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during the heydays of the Nuhu Ribadu chairmanship. Some of his other postings are: Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (CIID), FCT Command; Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, FCT Command; Deputy Commissioner of Police (Welfare) Finance and Administration, Force Headquarters Abuja; Assistant Commissioner of Police, Criminal IGP Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters; Assistant Commissioner of Police CID, Kano State Command; Assistant Commissioner of Police CIID, Niger State Command. He is a member of the Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) and has a post graduate certificate in Corruption Studies.
Indeed we are a nation bound in freedom – and it is the services of persons like Bala Ciroma that have ensured that such freedom has lasted to this day and is enjoyed by all. He may have served quietly but he served with pride and his service is up there with that of our heroes past. Let us emulate the man, learn from him and not allow his services to be in vain. Take a bow, Sir.