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10.06.2019 Opinion

A Quintessential Police Officer

By Remi Oyeyemi
A Quintessential Police Officer
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To be a Police Officer and a Pastor combined, no doubt, could be a challenge to a morally malleable man. Like Americans would say, it is a "combo," but this time, of malevolence. It is a veritable tool for turning to a potentate of evil. The combination of those two, given the type and nature of our society, provides a thick armour under which the greatest travesties could be perpetrated without let or hindrance, by any opportunistic soul that has no chastity and decorum.

This is about the courage and the character of a man mired in, yet unsmothered by the mound of a miasma - modulated Police Force. A man sired in the silhouette of solemn spirit of Ijesha. A man patented in pastoral praxis of a people primed for spirituality. A man taxonomized in a tier titillating with untainted integrity and adorned with dandyish dignity.

He is a man with a mission, even though he does not carry or sees himself as such. Many see him as a revolutionary, he sees himself as a reformist. Many of us see him as a conscience of and for the people. A source of hope for the forlorn. A voice for the voiceless. A hear for the deaf and deprived. A defender of the just. A liberator of the trampled. A harbinger of balance. A guardian of justice. An advocate of fairness. A thrush of thrust for public trust.

He is incorrigibly principled and titanically tough. He is very determined and dependable. He is uncharacteristically too honest and sincere for a Nigerian Police Officer. He has been consistent in his being considerate, concerned and circumspect. His patience imbued with meticulousness goes with his efficiency and efficacy as a Police Officer. His seminal brilliance permeated all his qualities as a gentleman officer.

You could never get him to derail the course of justice. His reputation goes before him. Never, never, never attempt to seek his help to perjure the truth and perpetuate injustice. It does not matter what your relationship is with him, you would be thoroughly tongue -lashed and be educated in the evils of injustice and the necessity for the atonement of transgressions.

You don't have to know him to get his help. As long as you have a genuine case, he would intervene on your behalf. He would never allow you to say more than "thank you." He would not give room for any form of gratification no matter how infinitesimal or in whatever kind. Unless he is in a meeting, you don't wait to see him. He is very accessible.

His detestation for bribery is legendary. You would not dare go to his office to bribe him. You would be seeking a trouble that would be difficult for you to manage. And no one is allowed to visit his home except close friends and family. If you are lucky to visit his house, you are not allowed to bring in any kind of gift no matter how innocuous. You are not allowed to give any parting gift, money or anything whatsoever to his children, his Madam or anyone in the household that you might have had contact with.

A pastor of pastors. He talks the talk and walks the walk. His humility befuddles his brethren. His simplicity serenades the members of his church. He is open and non-judgemental. He gives everyone and everybody a benefit of the doubt. He believes in the innate goodness of man until you have proved that you are not deserving of that benefit.

He is deep. Unless you have encountered him, you would not have an idea how deep he is. A depth of spirituality. A depth of intellectuality. A depth of humility. A depth of integrity. A depth of inner strength. A depth of love and affection for anyone that crosses his path. He is imbued with a depth of consciousness about the deprivations of the deprived and allowed himself to be propelled by the will to and be a vanguard of amelioration.

He has amazed many as to how someone could practice two worst professions and yet be able to edify them through his character and daily examples guided by clearly defined principles. His dedication and commitment to leaving above board has been legendary and exemplary. He has stood himself out as what to emulate and how to be emulated.

His name is Adebola Longe
That he has become a distinguished police officer could not and should not be a surprise. He has been able to be himself and be true to his beliefs and principles in such a challenging organisation such as the Nigeria Police Force. Chief Niyi Akintola, (SAN) a while ago had written the following excerpts about him:

"Yes, he led the aluta forces to celebrate the ousting of NPN government on December 31st 1983 when students were students. We had trecked from Trenchard Hall through the UI gate, to Dugbe, through Oke Ado Molete now Obafemi Awolowo way. We did a brief stopover in Front of Dr Olunloyo's house at Molete with chanting of songs and dancing.

Bola and some of us addressed the students and other patriots that joined our processions. We then moved from there also on foot through Idi Arere, Bode, Mapo, Oje, Agodi Gate before we passed through to Total Garden, Secretariat road, Bodija and then back to UI Trenchard Hall where Bola Longe addressed us right in Front of the famous Hall.

He was a very bold Student Union President who took over as President from Shina Agunlejika in 1983, shortly after the 1983 General election that saw to the re election of Sheu Shagari. At that time, no student would demand for mobilization fund, feeding allowances, transportation money etc before embarking on patriotic protest or celebration. Our protests and or celebrations were always spontaneous. No political godfather beating the drum or influencing the students thoughts and actions. Compare and contrast those beautiful era and days of yore with the present days of decadent students' unionism.

Bola later graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Political science, went back for his Masters in the same discipline, joined the Police Force because of his pechant for reforms, having had it rough in the hands of Nigeria Police Force as a student Union leader. He later went back again to the ONLY UNIVERSITY, this time to read Law, got called to the Bar, became a Pastor, served with yours truly as a member of Uncle Bola Ige Think Thank alongside our Egbons such as Professor Tunde Adeniran, Professor Tola Atimo, Uncle Yemi Farounbi, Dr Olusegun Agagu, Chief Bisi Akande, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN etc.

Bola walks his talk as a principled comrade, a pragmatic Pastor and preacher of the words, a family man and a disciplined, dedicated and incorruptible Police Officer. Bola Longe has passed through the mills, shapened by the rough political and economic climates of our fatherland and he is still busy navigating the mucky waters of our national life without betraying the trust and confidence of his benefactors, friends and associates for any temporary comfort or advantage. "

That is Bola Longe for you, a quintessential gentleman police officer. He, like a very few of his ilk, represent a spot of beauty on the imposing and permeating ugliness of an organisation like the Nigeria Police Force with a seriously dented image.

©Remi Oyeyemi.

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