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‘I wake up everyday thinking about security of the people’

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Peace Ibekwe Abdallah

Peace Ibekwe Abdallah

A year ago, when Peace Ibekwe Abdallah was announced the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, replacing Dikko Magari (now DIG), not many believed she was capable of navigating the rough security terrain of the state.

Being the first female Commissioner of Police to be appointed in the state and in fact in the entire Southeast zone, made many to wonder the motive of the police authorities for appointing her.

But Abdallah appeared to have proved everyone wrong as she has within a year set up a policing network that has reduced crimes and attracted the commendations of the residents.

First, she formalised a workable approach with various stakeholders in the state to promote understanding and cooperation, dismantling unnecessary checkpoints allegedly used to exploit motorists, effective routine supervision and monitoring at nights among others.She flagged off  “Operation Show of Force and Walk Down Crime” which has become a turning point to her success in reducing crime and the first of its kind in the history of the Ebonyi State Police Command.

No doubt, the outcome of her lofty initiatives may have been responsible for the drop in crime rate in the state, although she has consistently warned criminals to steer clear from the state.Speaking with The Guardian on some of the motivating factors in her job especially among the male folk, Abdallah said: “I come from a family of police background. I started from Cadet ASP and my father Chief Mike Akukalia Ibekwe, was Commissioner of Police in the old East Central State, immediately after the civil war.

“He had always aspired that I would be one day higher than him. So when I was promoted to the Commissioner of Police, I was very happy because that has been my father’s dream from onset. “I see security of lives and property as my first obligation. I am always happy seeing people sleeping with their two eyes closed everyday. I am happy each time I hear that people of the state move about without molestation from anybody. I wake up everyday thinking about the security of the people and once I’m able to ensure their safety, my day is made. So I will say that protection of lives and property is the motivating factor.”

Abdallah said realising her core responsibility made her to consistently issue warning to criminals to steer clear of the state. “Any crime against any resident of the state is a crime against my person. I see it as a personal attack on my person and my office and for that, I will not rest until I do justice to it by ensuring the arrest and prosecution of the criminal”

She continued: “I have told the residents that I will be proactive in reaching out to all communities so that there will be no communication gap. I am a woman with few words. I am a woman of action. I am here to walk the talk not to make noise. My strength lies in community partnership because we are not up to 3000 policemen in Ebonyi State.”On how she combines office work with family responsibilities, she said: “It was not difficult because my two children are adults. They live abroad. So, it is easier to do things at this time.”

Speaking on her challenges, she said: “The major challenges I have is the huge responsibility of providing security for millions of people looking up to me for that.”
Working in a command that is dominated by male officers, Abdallah said there was no cause for alarm.“In the midst of men, I feel very comfortable because the men are usually very supportive.  I also feel very challenged and motivated because in the world of men you have to battle to be several steps ahead, to be able to catch up and earn their respect.”

On her ability to reduce crime rate in the state within a short period, she said that it was made possible by the cooperation of the male officers and the friendly people of the state. On her toughest moments so far, she said: “My toughest moment was the time there was an attack on Ochienyim Amagu community in Ikwo and the boundary clash between Ebonyi and Cross River people. The last time we had attack there it was challenging and tough because it took great input and dexterity to defend the innocent community.

“How I handled it was that we have peace-keeping policemen already in the disputed area. It was a buffer zone so we had some operational policemen within the area. They were the first respondents, but when the situation got tougher, I personally led the team with my operational officers and we gave them all the necessary support and we worked hand in hand with the military.”

Abdallah dedicates her achievements so far to all law-abiding citizens of the state, saying they have reciprocated the gesture of the Command by being partners in the security system. She assured that she would not take their support for granted but would do all within her reach to enable them get the best of the service of the police.

She is the second female commissioner of police and the 17th commissioner of police since the creation of the state.Born on April 7, 1963, she hails from Onitsha in Anambra State. Her journey in the Police started 29 years ago, when she was enlisted as a cadet ASP. Through hardwork, she rose steadily through the ranks, until she was promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Police (CP) in August last year.


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