Wednesday, December 9, 2015


This reporter was on his way home after the day’s strenous exertions coupled with the ever-increasing hardship of having to spend hours on end in the notorious traffic gridcklock at Mile 2 bridge towards Apapa.

After the narrow escape and meandering through heavy duty trucks, it was time to shift base towards home. On approaching the second traffic gridlock zone at Iyana-Itire, a heavy duty truck laden with fuel recklessly swerved its way out of the very bad spot that dot the highway and bashed my car — destroying the back door.

The monstrous truck —equally driven by a maniacal beast looking for what to devour — trudged on, regardless of the danger it posed to both occupants of the car and other stranded motorists struggling to find their way out of the spot.
CP Owoseni and RRS Commander, ACP Disu during an outing.
A ding-dong affair ensured between my driver and the and the offending truck driver in what could be termed a tussle between unequal road users.

At this stage, officers of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, materialized from nowhere on two bikes and accosted the errant truck driver.

Notwithstanding the intimidating presence of the armed RRS team, the truck driver was intent on having his way and zooming off to Gombe State where he claimed he was rushing to deliver the fuel he was carrying.

In fact, he was ready to brush my car aside with the truck and disapear from the scene in spite of the damage he earlier done to it. But, the timely intervention of the RRS team saved the day as they arrived the scene, took control of the ugly situation and even invited policemen from nearby Itire Division to come and take charge.

Shockingly and at nobody’s prompting, they took charge of the ugly situation and the traffic that had built up dangerously for over thirty minutes.

They only left after traffic policemen from Itire arived and took control. Interestingly, the unusualness of their behaviour, the candour and, especially, their dedication to duty without strings attached overwhelmed all the motorists that witnessed the ugly incident, prompting this interview with the RRS boss, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, at his headquarters in Alausa, Ikeja.

His indifferent responses nearly ruined the encounter but for our reporter’s insistence that a story of the good, commendable turn of events must be told. Excerpts:

By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor

Doing our things differently: Policing is about the protection of lives and property and that is what we are doing in RRS. We like to do our things differently. We like to satisfy members of the public and through that, we get our salaries. The best job you can do in the world is policing. We are everything you can think about.

Yes, we noticed the change of the RRS men because we have been talking to them. We have had lectures and courses and recently, we had one on law and enforcement attitudinal change programme that is (LEACP) for them to change their attitude as policemen and for them to see the citizens as responsible people.

They should get closer to them and see themselves as servants. I give them examples. I usually tell them that a policeman, whether on duty or off duty should not see anybody in distress and walk by. It is a very painful thing for you to be in distress and have injury, then you see patrol people standing by without even giving helping hands.

Appreciative people

We have told them that wherever you see anybody in distress, stop and help them. Whenever you see anybody with flat tyres late at night or anyone with injuries, stay with them and assist them. Nigerians are very appreciative people.

They appreciate any little thing you do for them. A lot of people have been coming to appreciate the good deeds our men did to them and we are happy about it.

Coping with crime in Lagos: Don’t forget that RRS is just a unit in the Lagos state police setup, and the Commissioner of Police is in charge and has laid down strategies to effectively combat crime in the state. All parts of Lagos has been mapped out.

That is why we are seriously battling robbery in traffic and other crimes. We have seen increase in changes and the crime is going down.

 Checking his men’s excesses: In RRS, we have those we call the Ops (operations) officers. Part of their assignments include; going out and checking these men and taking complaints from members of the public over the activities of our men.

That’s how we checkmate them and whenever we find them wanting, we send reports to the commissioner of police. They trail them and are punished accordingly.

Synergy with other security agencies: The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State is very friendly and you can see him every time, at one meeting with one agency or the other. 

This has trickled down to all other departmental commanders and DPOs. Security is one although, the police, no doubt, is the lead agency and when it comes to internal security, we have good working relationship with other security agencies and the most important thing is that we share the same information.

Donations to the police

The Inspector-General of Police has spoken, my Commissioner of Police has spoken. To whom much is given, much is expected. We have no cause to fear. We will deploy the vehicles accordingly and we have tried mapping and all the men have been trained again and again and we will give the robbers a good chase.

All RRS men have been trained and are being talked to daily. They are ready to do their jobs and we’ve made them realize they get paid from the taxes collected from members of the public.

They are ready to go, and the last time I spoke with them, they told me: “Oga, don’t worry, we don vex” and they feel bad whenever crimes are being committed and they can’t make an impact.

New slogan

The slogan goes this way: “Our Nigerian police are good guys, good guys, our Nigerian police.” It’s a kind of attitudnal thing, psychological thing. If you call somebody bad, the person will continue to be bad.

So, they want to see themselves as good. We have asked them questions on why members of the public don’t like us. Why, because of a lot of bad things we do as policemen and they have made up their minds never to indulge in bad things.

They want to be trained for the members of the public. So, we want members of the public to see us as good guys. If you see us as good guys, we will know that that is one of our friends. Nigerian police good guys, good guys, Nigerian police.

Xmas packages: Lagosians should know that crime is a general thing and they should not leave it to the law enforcement agents only.

Control of crime belongs to everybody; give useful information to members of security agencies and it will help us to bring crime to the barest minimum and then they should take care of themselves for the Yuletide.

For those of them travelling, try to check your cars very well before putting it on the road. They should check the tyres and service the cars. They should not service vehicle immediately and put it on the road.

They should leave if for few days before travelling on the road and they should make sure they have extra tyres and then we wish them the best of celebration.

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