…Advices wives of policemen to shun nagging at home
By Evelyn Usman
President of the Police Officers Wives Association and wife of the Inspector-General of Police, Hajia Haraja Usman Baba, yesterday in Lagos, decried the proliferation of beer parlours in Police barracks, describing it as a bad influence on children and the future of Nigeria.
To address this, she disclosed that she would immediately send a signal to the Force headquarters for the outright relocation of beer parlours from Police barracks, threatening that whoever flouted the directive thereafter, would be ejected from the barracks.
The POWA President who was on a three-day working visit to familiarise herself with POWA members in the state and also to access the Police children school, with a view to improving the general standards, said such beer parlours should be cited at a given metre from the barracks as stipulated by law.
Addressing POWA members at the POWA hall, Ikeja, said, “ During my inspection yesterday (Wednesday) I saw a lot of beer parlours in barracks. I know it is you people that encouraged such. You should try and speak to your husbands to follow the rules and regulations of the barracks.
“I grew up in the barracks because my father was a policeman. Then, there was no beer parlour. And with the future of our children in the barracks, we should be careful because these children are more intelligent than us.
“We are going to send signals immediately, for the relocation of the beer parlours . If you don’t keep to it, you will be ejected out of the barracks”.
She also lamented the dirty state of barracks in Lagos and announced the commencement of environmental sanitation, every Saturday. She informed that she would personally take part in tomorrow’s own, after a 30 minutes walk with POWA members, as part of activities to mark her visit.
She said, “ What I saw at the barracks was devastating. The barracks was unkempt. It was very dirty. If there is no sanitation nationwide, can’t you sanitize yourself, or don’t we have barracks leaders? There is going to be sanitation henceforth. It is going to be a continuous exercise until we are retired”.
Noting that policemen had been demoralized due to the happenings in the country, she admonished POWA members and other Police wives to be supportive at this moment, by being submissive to their spouses, adding that this was not the time to nag at home, as such would go a long way to affecting their husbands’ efficiency at work.
Reeling out her administration’s welfare package for wives of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Hajara said empowerment programmes would be conducted while widows, especially those who lost their husbands in the service, would be taken into consideration in her next visit to other states commands.
In addition, she said scholarships packages for pupils and students of Police secondary schools across the country, as well as rewards for deserving teachers, private guards and drivers of the schools, would be organized annually, to motivate them to do more.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, the chairperson for the Lagos State chapter of the association, Alhaja Nafisat Odumosu, informed that one of the issues on the front burner of her administration was to enhance the quality of POWA and Police Wives, including widows.
She however lamented that her plans and moves towards this direction were hampered by the lockdown experienced last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its safety protocol that are still lingering.
Despite the odds, the Lagos state chairperson who was represented by the association’s secretary said the association had however supported members with food items, such as bags of cassava flakes popularly known as garri, rice and noodles among others, to ease the biting effect of the lockdown last year, as well as reached out to widows of policemen killed during the endears crises and those whose houses were burnt.
She, therefore, solicited the national President’s assistance in the area of facilitating quick renovation of the burnt barracks so that POWA members and the affected officers presently squatting with people would return back to their residence.
Other areas of support highlighted included the renovation of dilapidated barracks, some of which she described as death traps “that can collapse at any time. An example of what happened a few weeks back where the pillar fell on a 16-year-old daughter of a serving Sergeant and killed her while she was sleeping.
“ We are requesting for scholarships for children of widowed POWA members that lost their husband in the job; expanding/building more open markers for growing teeming population of members, especially in Lagos to enable us to assist our husbands as well as provision of more medical facilities and seeking for a rebate of medical bills for our members and children.
“ We are also requesting raising the standards of the police children school enough to attract more children of wealthy and influential members of the general public who will further assist in improving our academic infrastructural facilities of the school and make our children compete favourably in their academic pursuit”.