Until Dr Reuben Abati paid homage to him on Tuesday, I did not know that Mr Taiwo Lakanu is now an Assistant Inspector General of Police.
As many senior journalists would attest, everything Reuben wrote about Lakanu is true as he has been—for almost two decades that many of us have known him—a shining example of what a policeman should be.
But for me, the real essence of Reuben’s tribute is that as much as we like to talk about the bad eggs in the police, it is also good to promote those who take their jobs seriously and are professional in their dealings.
As difficult as it may be to believe, there are actually many Lakanus in the Nigeria Police Force. I encountered some recently.
On 27th April, 24 hours to the public presentation of my book, “Against The Run of Play”, it suddenly occurred to me that I had made no provision for security.
The author ― Olusegun Adeniyi
I called TheCable publisher, Mr Simon Kolawole, to ask whether he had the phone number of the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Fatai Owoseni. He immediately sent me the man’s number.
I called the Compol and introduced myself and he was very warm and friendly despite the fact that we had never met before.
When I told him about my book presentation and that I would need security, he asked me to send him a text message containing venue of the event and time. I did as instructed.
By the time the event started the next day at the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs (NIIA) in Victoria Island, a detachment of police from the anti-bomb squad (based on the inscription on their vehicles) led by a female officer had been drafted to the venue.
While I noticed their presence throughout, the real surprise for me was that, none of the policemen or their leader approached me for the customary “we-your-boys-are-on-ground” salutation.
And because I did not know when they left, that meant I also did not have the opportunity to say thank you to them.
They just did their job professionally and left after their operation without any interaction with me. I am therefore using this opportunity to thank Mr Owoseni and the Lagos State Police Command.
Meanwhile, I am overwhelmed by the incredible support I have been receiving from many Nigerians, including those I do not even know, who have taken it upon themselves that I must reap the financial benefits of my book, following the hacking of the online edition.
The online campaign undertaken by some groups that those who have been forwarded the free online copy should pay into the publisher’s account or buy their own have also been very effective.
I am grateful to them all.
However, as I stated last week, we must collectively join in the efforts to fight piracy and theft of intellectual property. Our society will be the better for it.