From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Gabriel Achong has congratulated the government and people of the state, the media and host communities for their maximum cooperation and collaboration with the command in its efforts and determination to ensure a peaceful and a more secure environment for the people to operate.
Achong who made the commendation in his valedictory press briefing as he was retiring from service after 35 years, also commended the commitment of his gallant officers and men, sister security agencies and the unflagging logistic support of the state government that ensured the command’s success under his watch as the state police command.
He said: “These laudable achievements would not have been possible without the cooperation and collaboration of the media, the commitment of active participation of host communities, synergy of sister security agencies and the unflagging logistic support of the state government”.
While specifically commending the media for the wonderful and practical input in the collective fight against crime and criminality in the state, he appealed to the people to always remain vigilant and law-abiding at all times, stressing that “all hands must be on deck to guide our hard-won peace”.
Achong boasted that since he assumed office as the state commissioner of police in September 2014, the state under his watch has experienced a great reduction of crime through more proactive, anti-crime strategies predicated on visible vehicular and foot patrols, intelligence-led community policing.
He said his sojourn in the Nigeria Police Force since 1980 has witnessed progressive trends as he has held many administrative investigative and operational command positions across the nation.
Achong said: “We have also improved police image, successfully held the 2015 general elections, impacted positively on public confidence and made environment safer and more secured for socio-economic development and growth”.
He advised both the media and the police to live above board, knowing fully well that Nigeria’s security was paramount.
In answer to a question, he said he owed gratitude to God Almighty who has seen him through his service years till retirement. The commissioner recalled that he was recruited along with 145 men in 1980 but today “I don’t think we are up to 45 remaining”.
Achong stressed that the security of the nation was the responsibility of every citizen and that the people should not give or take bribe or abet any corruptive tendencies.
He confirmed the invasion of the Customs Marine Base in Oron where two security personnel were shot and some weapons carted away.
However, Achong commended the cooperation and collaboration of all security agencies in Cross River, Akwa and Rivers, which effort led to the recovery of one gun boat.
The commissioner used the occasion to re-emphasize the need for communities to form vigilante groups to help the police in community policing, in order to check criminal activities in their respective domain as the police presence cannot be felt in every community across the state due to inadequate manpower.
He also advised the public to volunteer credible information to the police and report questionable characters in their midst to the nearest security post.
The outgoing CP said though he was retiring from service, he would be of more benefit to the system anytime his successors require his assistance.