“Police officers should realise that whenever they put on the uniform, the best conduct, best character traits and selflessness is expected of them. The uniform is a garb of honour and integrity and must be jealously guarded. This is so, because the police officer carries the authority of the sovereign to maintain law and order. Therefore, that authority must be exercised with circumspection, respect for rule of law and with decorum. ”
A NEW DAWN!
A VALEDICTORY SPEECH BY DIG ADELEYE O. OYEBADE, mni ON HIS RETIREMENT FROM THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE TODAY 22ND DECEMBER 2020.
I thank God Almighty for today and for His grace to witness this ceremonial pullout parade organized in my honour.
- I am elated and full of gratitude as today marks the end of a fulfilling career as a police officer. What more, it is also my 60th birthday! I would have served for thirty-five years on 1st of February 2021.
- My enlistment in the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police along with 106 other colleagues began here on 1/2/1986. I was 26 years old, young, energetic and full of dreams, aspirations and high hopes. We all had ideas on how we would contribute in fighting crimes and how to make our society better. Our path was strewn with different challenges and obstacles but to God be the glory some of us surmounted while others were not so fortunate.
After bagging an honours degree in Sociology from the foremost University of Lagos, my mind was made up that the police is the right place to deploy my knowledge and with conviction and passion, I joined one of the best police, if not the best police force in Africa.
The Nigeria Police Force groomed me to become a full man and a professional law enforcement officer with excellent training in and out of the country. I have served on multi-national missions and I will always be proud of the conduct of my colleagues who served meritoriously with other police officers from other countries. Nigeria invested in us and we in return gave our best in the service of the country. I pray this tradition continues and the best of our young men and women in the service can attain lofty heights.
- Although at the beginning we knew the road was going to be bumpy but how rough it would be we didn’t quite know. We were overwhelmed with joy, spurred by passion and patriotism. We put in our best. We fought battles. Ours was and still is a daily battle with criminals and enemies of the people and of the society.
- Distinguished guests, dear colleagues, please permit me at this juncture to address aspiring police officers and cadets who have enlisted in this noble service. I want to share a little of my experience and to encourage them. Police officers should realise that whenever they put on the uniform, the best conduct, best character traits and selflessness is expected of them. The uniform is a garb of honour and integrity and must be jealously guarded. This is so, because the police officer carries the authority of the sovereign to maintain law and order. Therefore, that authority must be exercised with circumspection, respect for rule of law and with decorum.
- The ongoing police reform holds a lot of promise for a better police force where the public and officers and men of the Nigeria Police will have an understanding that policing is not for uniformed men alone, but a collaborative effort of every citizen. The welfare of serving officers and men must be given greater and urgent attention. Training and re-training with an eye on best global practices must be emphasized. It is time to embrace technology in combating crime.
- It is my hope that our educators will include in the school curriculum right from the elementary class and higher classes, studies in citizenship, valour of service as police officers, military service and in other para-military services. The police motto: “Police is your friend” must be imbibed by the public and the officers, through their conduct.
- Serving as a police officer involves a lot of sacrifice and deprivation. At all times, officers must remember their calling and ensure that they are not distracted in the discharge of their duties.
- I remember my comrades who lost their lives in the line of duty. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones.
- To everything under the earth there is a season. There is a time to begin and a time to end. I have no regret that I served the Nigeria Police Force for there is no honour greater than service to one’s country and service to humanity. The memory of the good working relationship we shared while in service will continue to linger in my mind till eternity.
- I return all glory to God who gave me grace to attain the enviable rank of Deputy Inspector-General of Police. Many indeed were called, but few are chosen. In my almost 35 years sojourn in the service, I have come across and seen several people from whom I have received mentorship and some I have also mentored. My story would not be complete without such people who I can say, apart from the Almighty God, contributed tremendously to my career success. Failure to acknowledge their invaluable place in my life would be the most annoying act of ingratitude. Since I am not an ingrate, I therefore with all sense of commitment and gratitude, thank GOD for His enduring protection, guidance, wisdom and I thank my mentors whose wise counsel guided me.
- It is often said that behind every successful man, there is a woman. Indeed there was a woman by my side. There is still the woman with me and there will always be the precious woman behind me. I want to, from the depth of my heart, appreciate my adorable wife, Adebimpe – a Pearl, a rare gem, a woman of substance who has been a pillar, an adviser, a confidant, a motivator, a critic and sometimes a ‘prop in my distress’ – as well as my lovely children – Ronke and Tola for their fondness for me and my job. I apologize for being an absentee father, depriving them of fatherly attention as I was almost always away from home due to routine transfer that the nature of the job demands. I am glad, and indeed they are glad too, that at last I can now make myself available at retirement. To my family members, friends, acquaintances, and all my professional colleagues –both in the police and other sister agencies who are here present and those who are unavoidably absent – I say thank you for your support.
- I stand here to give this valediction because I had the opportunity to serve in the police. Some were willing but didn’t have the opportunity. For this reason, I want to thank the Federal Government for giving me the rare opportunity to serve my fatherland and for all the quality training I received. I also particularly express my sincere appreciation to the President and Commander –in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR; the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, IGP Rtd; and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, NPM, mni for their wonderful support which made my service successful. I cannot also forget to appreciate the good people of Nigeria and the Media for their support for me while in service.
- Although I am leaving the stage, the Nigeria Police Force will forever remain my constituency. I will always do everything legitimate within the power given me by God to support it even at retirement. I will be available whenever my service is required. This is because, as General Douglas MacArthur once said, ‘Old soldiers never die; they simply fade away’. I hereby rephrase as, Old police officers never die; they merely step aside.
- Although there are myriads of challenges confronting the police, there is hope on the horizon, and there will be light at the end of the tunnel. It is my desire that the ongoing police reform will continue unabated and that hopefully in no distant time, we will have the people’s police of our dream. I urge Nigerians and friends of this great nation to support the police believing in their ability to protect lives and property.
- While the people yearn earnestly for a reformed police force and while the government is taking bold steps to reposition the Nigeria Police Force to enable it confront the security challenges in our dear country, I want to admonish my affable colleagues still in service to continue to be diligent, dedicated, committed and patriotic as there is reward for hard work if not by man definitely by God. They should at all time, no matter the circumstances, strive to serve with passion and with the fear of God.
- As I bid you farewell today, I leave you in the ultimate protection of God. Even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will fear no evil, for He is with you; His rod and His staff, they comfort you. You will also retire successfully from active service. We will be alive to rejoice with you at your retirement. Your bodies will not be parceled home for burial. You will not be dismissed. You will receive your entitlements in good health. I hope to hear good news about you and about the fortune of the Nigeria Police. Goodbye! Goodbye! To my anxiously waiting family, I say, home I come, with my mind and body intact, to the glory of God.
It is a new dawn!