22nd August, 2011
Â The immediate past Commissioner of Police in Oyo State now deployed to Sokoto Police Command, AlHAJI ADISA BABA BOLANTA, speaks with GBENRO ADESINA on how influential politicians treated him while in Oyo State
What was your experience policing Oyo State, the political headquarters of the South West?
Policing Oyo State successfully requires the full support of Almighty God, doggedness, determination, focus, accommodating insults and putting on the cap of â€˜I donâ€™t careâ€™. Sincerely, I cannot forget the state. But, my experience as a CP in Oyo State was very wonderful and memorable. I am happy that I served in Oyo State.
Did what you found on ground in the state meet your expectation?
Some, yes and some, I didnâ€™t expect. For instance, I didnâ€™t expect the high level of hostility I received from certain quarters. Instead of appreciating my strict compliance with police professionalism and ethics, they did otherwise. An outspoken small faction who dominates the political landscape tried hard to frustrate me and make life very uncomfortable and unbearable.
What has that translated into for you?
Apprehension to my family. But the scenario made me a better and more experienced person and policeman. It gave me exposure and enriched my knowledge. The experience I garnered within two years in Oyo State will take other Commissioners of Police 20 years to have. It is not easy to serve in Oyo State. Even, you, who are a journalist, I know you feel the heat. Only a saint or God can work in this state without any problem. But we as human beings, amidst criticisms, calling for our heads and the likes, we will survive.
How do you now feel about the decisions you took as the state CP?
Honestly speaking, if I am given the chance again, I will take the decisions that I took as CP in Oyo State because I didnâ€™t take those decisions out of malice and sentiment but rather to guarantee justice. I have no regrets about my decisions.
Does the position you just affirmed apply to NURTW?
I am the happiest person as regards the way I went about the NURTW issue. I succeeded in disorganising those violent groups. I am happy at what is going on now. There are revelations at the panel of enquiry because it will unearth the truth and get to the root of the problem and eventually make the government to take appropriate steps concerning NURTW.
How do you feel about your inability to arrest Tokyo and Auxiliary?
The position of the police on the two factional heads of NURTW remains the same. They have been declared wanted. They are still being looked for by the police. I have adequately briefed the person that has taken over from me and he will continue from where I have stopped. Once they are seen, they will be arrested and brought to book. They cannot escape that.
How do you react to the series of allegations levelled against you especially of collaborating with the last administration led by Adebayo Alao-Akala to commit some evils in the state?
All the actions I took as CP in the state were done in good faith. I also related with Alao-Akala as the chief executive officer of the state. All my actions were geared towards ensuring peace and security in the state and the safety of the former governor as chief security officer of the state.
How did you manage the likes of Senator Lekan Balogun and others who fired assorted missiles from all angles at you, even calling for your removal from the state?
I thank the person that saved me from them. These are powerful people with all the connections. They have the media and all the tools they can use to wield their influence. As God will have it, he was unable to do what he wanted to do.
What is your advice to the people of Oyo State?
They should cooperate with the new CP, all the security agents and above all, the new government led by Senator Abiola Ajimobi. They should not be sentimental about security and as a matter of fact, expose â€˜troublers of Israelitesâ€™ no matter how big they are.
What about the government?
I have no doubt that the new government will not relent in assisting the police. It should mobilise more resources to help the police. Give fuel for patrol and other logistics.
Is there any unforgettable experience you had in Oyo State?
There are many but let me mention a few. One, I will not forget the day the prominent people in the state dragged me before the IGP asking him to remove me. Secondly, the NURTW crises and my movement to Delta State. I keep imagining how I would have been crucified in Oyo State if I was not posted to Delta during the last election.
What happens to the bullet proof you made?
The police headquarters has approved it and gaven me permission to produce it in large quantities but I donâ€™t have the money to do so. If I can have people to support me, I will produce it for the entire Nigeria police force and it will be far cheaper than the imported ones and do the same job.
What is your farewell message to the people of Oyo State?
I thank them all including those that were criticising me. Their criticism really helped me and gingered me to work harder. I have no grudge against them. Whatever action I took while in the state was as a result of my professional calling and in the interest of the people of the state. It is not because I donâ€™t like them or I hate them or they belong to a political party I donâ€™t belong to. I took those actions with the conviction that I was determined to protect the people of the state.