Death of an officer (1) – The Sun Nigeria


“When the beggars die we do not see comets but the heavens themselves blaze with the death of princes. This is a quote from the novel Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

Last week, news leaked from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), located in Area 7, Abuja, that the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the department, Mr Joseph Egbunike, who is said to have climbed the stairs to his office, worked until about 11 p.m. but collapsed while in the office. According to reports, he was immediately taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

His death was a blow to his family, his institution and his colleagues, especially the Nigeria Police Force, under whom he served the country for over 34 years. He was an intellectual brain who, like many other police officers, not satisfied with his first police entrance qualification, worked very hard to improve his academic qualifications. Egbunike earned a master’s degree and even went further to earn a doctorate and was about to crown his academic efforts to attain professorial height.

No wonder he was outstanding in virtually every major policing activity. The latest was that he headed the Inspector General of Police’s committee of inquiry into the DCP Abba Kyari indictment saga. He was the head of the DIG of the Southeast zone, a very dedicated officer who did not hesitate to carry out official missions.

As the former head of the Nigerian Police Budget and Finance Bureau, Egbunike would be responsible for the budgeting model used by the Nigerian Police today.

In his statement of condolences read at the late officer’s residence, Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba described DIG Egbunike as “a man of much knowledge, ingenuity and commitment to diligence in his life”.

The death of an officer, whether Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, EFCC, Immigration, DSS, Customs , NDLEA, Civil Defense or other quasi-military groups, brings pain and a sense of loss to loved ones and colleagues. .

When an agent dies in the line of duty, a crack is noticeable on the wall of the security agency he represents. When an officer dies on active duty, the pain and loss felt by his family, colleagues and friends is irreparable. Consider the loss of a soldier in the war zone. Such a loss in the service of his country is painful. If it is painful, what measures have been put in place to lessen the pain and even prevent death?

After all, there are deaths that can be prevented. Questions arise whether senior security officers are obliged to regularly check their health.

If such a medical examination was not part of their benefits, given their service to the country? Should officers be allowed to work late into the night? After all, will the mission take flight? Medical experts are of the opinion that there should be legislation on the number of visitors a senior officer should receive in a working day. Official and unofficial visitors most often wear down senior officers in very important and strategic positions. Visitors of all ranks, when permitted to see an officer in the office, often create embarrassment and nuisance for the officer and the office he occupies.

Some have no respect for time as irrelevant topics are discussed. There was a time when the number of visitors to the IGP office at Force Headquarters was becoming a challenge. The IGP at the time, Mr. Tafa Balogun, devised a unique strategy by leaving his office and walking through the huge hall of visitors, to personally listen and respond to each of their complaints with his personal officer at his sides.

By this, the IGP, unknown to many, also used the strategy to stretch his muscles. In fact, security guards should be encouraged to frequently attend organized medical seminars to help them stay fit and healthy for the onerous service to the country.

Shortly after his appointment, on September 16, 2021, the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa allegedly collapsed during an event and was kicked out of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He had returned from the funeral of one of his officers in Ibadan, Oyo State, and was due to address an audience when, in the middle of his speech, he suddenly stopped and then collapsed and was taken for medical treatment.

Many years ago, in 2002, during the tenure of IGP Tafa Balogun, a Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Area 12, Bauchi, Alhaji Muhammed Shehu, collapsed in his hotel room two days after taking over.

He was staying at a hotel in the state capital, while his official accommodation was being arranged.

He was pronounced dead a week later. Again, in 2010, an AIG in charge of Force training, Mr. Joseph Idu, allegedly collapsed in his office at Force Headquarters, and was later pronounced dead.

On August 4, 2021, Assistant Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Police Command, Mr. Christian Udogu collapsed while watching TV with family members at home and later passed away. He had complained of chest pains before collapsing.

Sad examples of officers collapsing either on the parade grounds where their physical form is on display or in the office while on duty highlight serious issues with underlying issues. On March 2, 2012, in Ogun State, during a parade in honor of CP Nicholas Nkedeme, when five officers, including the parade commander, all fell apart like dominoes one after another. other as dignitaries, including the state’s deputy governor, Segun Adesegun, all watched in panic and astonishment.

A medical expert has described the problem of police officers collapsing on duty as “part of their professional risk, apart from the fact that their medical history and any other element may contribute to it”.

Second, in Nigeria a lot of people lie about their age, a man who is already over 50 could claim to be 45 and he thinks he can handle the stress of a 45 year old at work.

Again, due to their financial situation, many people do not take care of their health.

(To be continued)


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