Fegge Police Division, Onitsha Receives Facelift, Officers, Men Elated

Alphonsus Nweze

The Nigerian Police have always come under stringent and consistent criticism for poor performance, engaging in extortion, intimidation, abuse of people’s rights, bribery and corruption.

But most of these criticisms failed to take into cognisance the adverse and poor working conditions of Police personnel in Nigeria.
Apart from relative poor remuneration and allowances, those incentives and facilities that would help them to at least put up modest performance such as operational vehicles, office and residential accomodation and generally conducive working environment among others are grossly lacking in most Police formations and divisions in and around the country.
When some newsmen who went to Fegge Division, Onitsha saw some facilities springing up, which gave the station a new look, they were compelled to ask how the projects came about. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Rabiu Garba, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSO), was initially reluctant to say anything but after sometimes he opened up on how some stake holders in the division teamed with him to help create conducive environment for his officers and men to carry out their work effectively.
For him, the poor working environment has been a source of concern that he began to do the little he can with few of his friends to provide facilities that will help his officers and men feel relaxed to do their job, hence the Fegge Police Station in Onitsha is now wearing splendid look with some of the infratrastructral upgrade now going on within and outside the Police Station.
Prominent among the facilities provided were the flooring of the Police Station with concrete tarring and construction of drainage system which has addressed the perennial problem of flooding in the Station during rainy season.

With a new car park and a new building, housing the State Investigation Bureau (SIB) and Crime office, the premises of the station has significantly improved and become beauty to behold with men and officers being happy with the environment they are working in.
But these are not the only facilities put up at Fegge Police Station as it has been fenced with the barracks, providing the officers and men and their families security from unnecessary intruders especially in these days of insecurity in the country where Police Stations were burnt down even in Anambra State.

Toilets and soakaway have equally been provided residents of the barracks as well as electricity poles to beef up power supply in the station.

Most importantly, the significance of religion in our society as a moral builder cannot be overemphasized, hence a modest mosque for Moslems community in the station has been built and a one storey Church building for Christian community in the Police Station is also under construction. The foundation has just been done.

Outside the station a 30-shop Police Officers Wives’ complex has been completed and fully taken over. The complex will provide opportunity for Police officers’ wives and some female officers to set up small businesses which they can manage during their private time and make extra income for themselves.

An office for National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has also been built in the station apparently to be able to monitor and mitigate against the sales, distribution and consumption of fake, expired and substandard drugs in the area, given its closeness to the popular Onitsha Drug Market at Bridgehead

To effectively secure the station in this era of insecurity where Police stations were burnt down in Anambra State, a gate house with security tower, including fence for the stations were constructed.
The Motor Traffic Division (MTD) of the station has equally been roofed.

A lister generating set to solve the problem of epileptic power supply and provide conducive atmosphere for the officers and men in the office carrying out their duties was installed.

A believer in keeping fit, Garba put a recreation facilities for officers and men, where they can play table tennis.

The structural transformation of the station has given the Police station an esthetic outlook and made it unique among all other Police Stations in the Onitsha metropolis.

At least, officers of the law who were deployed to serve in the Fegge Police Station could now enjoy certain degree of conducive atmosphere and modern facilities provided for them.
These no doubt were made possible by the Garba who has not only deployed his vast wealth of experience in community policing but also put his innate milk of hunan kindness into his job to help officers and men to achieve their optimum in their work schedule. Even suspects are not left out as their cell has been rehabilitated with water provided for them. They now take their bath with shower.

The Executive Director, Human Rights, Liberty Access and Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE), Dede Uzor A. Uzor, lauding the efforts of the Garba, said no DPO in Fegge has done what he doing in the division or their achievements compared with his own.

And that is why he has won several awards including human rights award. He said Garba has helped a lot especially the poor and indigents in Fegge, stating that no fewer than 10 persons are currently enjoying his scholarship.

He has also attracted two Hilux vehicles from Interfact Bevarages, makers of Hero beer and other drinks which he has submitted to the Police.

Garba, Dede who is also the chairman of Campaign for Democracy (CD) in South East, said has reduced crime in Fegge to the barest minimum. He said in the crime index of the State , Fegge Police Station has no crime for the last six months, a very encouraging feat.
“Fegge is the most beautiful station in Anambra State now courtesy of the DPO Garba. His good record has been attracting public spirited individuals to help in giving the place a face-lift plus his own personal money which he sacrificially puts in,” he said. Transglobe Pharmaceutical who built overhead tank for Fegge Police Division is one of such persons or companies attracted by Garba’s dedication and selfless service to humanity.
He also said Garba revolutionized the Division’s Cell with the detainees bathing at their cell with shower which is unbelievable in Nigeria.
The rights activist called on the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Inspector General of Police (IG) to elevate Garba to the position of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP).
He said: “That is the only way they can appreciate his efforts and commitment to improve the Police Force. He has set a pace. He is accessible. He leads Police operations even at night.”
Garba was carried shoulder high at his station in Onitsha by blood thirsty demonstrators during End Sars riot when many Police Stations and Policemen in Anambra State were burnt and killed gruesomely, but due to his commitment and human face approach he survived

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