By Abubakar Imam
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good” – Samuel Johnson
This week’s posting of an illustrious son of Ilorin Emirate, Abdulkadir Lanre Jimoh,fsi, as the Commissioner of Police, Cross-River State Command, is one news that should be celebrated by the good people of the southernmost Emirate. It is a most welcome and heartwarming news not just because of the worthy personality of this officer and gentleman but also because of the significance of the posting to Ilorin Emirate’s collective history. It is even a double celebration for this exceptional public servant and his family as well as associates that this challenging posting is coming on the eve of his 56th birthday.
Many decades back, it was evidently clear that the people of Ilorin Emirate derided policing as an occupation. They disliked having any form of relationship with police personnel and institution for so many reasons, which may, however, not be far from what sociologists called stereotype. That anathematic disposition was notwithstanding the fact that some of our illustrious forebears such as Mallam Sulu and his son, Mallam Mohammad Lawal of Oke-Aluko, who were the progenitors of Dr. Yusuf Lawal, the former President of the influential Third Estate of Ilorin Emirate, whose sojourn in the defunct colonial police influenced the description of their ancestral home at Oja-Iya as either “Ile Mejidadi” or “Ile Olopa”. The same with Mallam Salaudeen Oloje, the father to the second National President of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union, Alhaji A.A. Jimoh, who died in January,1984 as a Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission. They both actually enlisted, served and distinguished themselves in the Native Authority Police of those old days.
It was the refusal of many of those who gave birth to us to have anything to do with the police and other military and paramilitary services, which empowered people of other cultures, who enlisted in the services and were subsequently posted to Ilorin, to “lord things over us”for too long. For instance,the stories or fables woven around the personality of one Wokili Olopa (Penpe bi asa),who hailed from Share, the headquarters of the present-day Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, and who was a dutiful policeman that served in Ilorin between the 1940s and 1950s,as reported by the unforgettable author of “A Short History of Ilorin”, the late Alhaji Sheikh Ahmad Tijjani Adisa-Onikoko (1934-2015),would make an interesting reading.
But the perceptions of police began to gradually changed for the better following the huge professional successes and glittering patriotism of Alhaji Abdulsalam Ebun Agbabiaka, who served as the Commissioner of Police in-charge of the erstwhile Lagos Federal Territory during the First Republic after almost getting appointed as the first indigenous Inspector-General of Police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The late Alhaji Agbabiaka, who hailed from the famous Agbabiaka family in the Agor Market area of Ilorin but raised in Lagos by his father, Alfa Sanusi Agbabiaka, one of the prominent leaders of Ilorin community in the 1930s Lagos, proved to be the game-changer. He was ,despite being a truly detribalised gentleman, said to have given a very good account of himself so well that the meetings of members of the Lagos-based Ilorin Community were, according to the authoritative Alhaji L.A.K. Jimoh (b.1940) ,always held at his house on Igbosere Road, Lagos, with funfair. Through those patriotic services and other fascinating attributes, which included dutiful adherence to the Islamic faith, he was said to have boosted the image of the police amongst our forebears who lived in Lagos of his time so well that some of them took their sons to him in order to be enlisted in the police force.
Nevertheless and until recently, enlisting in the police was the last thing a typical Ilorin parent would wished for his children. This is because of the enduring negative perceptions that every policeman “turns to something else” as soon as he enlists in the force. Or have you forgotten the Ilorin peculiar song “ere ipa ki bi mon re bi o bi kumon a bi kondo ere ipa ki bi mon re”,which was originally composed to disparaged those who were always identified with “kondo”?
One is, therefore, encouraged that the distinguished dispositions and patriotic contributions of many of our compatriots who served in the Nigeria Police since the early 1970s and helped by the increasing quality of exposure and high-rate of professional diversificiations of our people, among other factors, have assisted greatly in changing things for better as far as the image of police and other uniformed and paramilitary services are concerned amongst our people. Among those who made this changes possible is our brother and gallant officer, Alhaji Lanre Jimoh, who many of his contemporaries and compatriots fondly called “Lanre Olopa”.
Alhaji Jimoh Olarenwaju Abdulkadir, a trained historian, fringe teacher, football enthusiast and committed police officer was born to the family of the late Alhaji Imam Abdulkadir and Alhaja Ajarat Iyabo Abdulkadir of Elegede Compound, Eruda Quarters, Ilorin, on August 27, 1964.
As customarily required among the good people of Ilorin Emirate, an entity that is renowned for its deep Islamic orientation and scholarship, this “Dahiri” grew into consciousness at a traditional Ile Kewu, where he studied the Qur’an and rudimentary knowledge of Islam in order to be prepared for a useful Muslim life and becoming a decent human being. In 197O, young Abdulkadir was enrolled as a pupil of Baboko Demonstration Primary School, Ilorin. He received his First School Leaving Certificate at the school in 1976.
For his post-primary education pursuit, this illustrious son of Ilorin Emirate proceeded to the famous AbdulAzeez Attah Memorial College(AAMCO),Okene,in the present-day Kogi State. He was trained at the institution appellated as the “Lion of the North”from 1976 to 1981 and eventually earned his West African School Certificate in flying colours.
Between 1982 and 1983,CP Abdulkadir studied at the then Kwara State College of Technology(now known as the Kwara State Polytechnic),Ilorin,for his IJMB/Advanced Level qualifications, which he glowingly had in History, Economics and Islamic Studies .At the end of the pre-university course, this distinguished officer proceeded to the better by far University of Ilorin where he was educated from 1983 to 1986.At the end of his sojourn at the nation’s most sought-after University, Mr. Abdulkadir earned his Bachelor’s degree in History.
He, thereafter, went for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps programme in Benue State. He served his fatherland as a youth corps member at the State otherwise called the “Food Basket of the Nation”between 1986 and 1987.
Sequel to the completion of his youth service programme, he was offered employment as a teacher by the Kwara State Teaching Service Commission. He taught History at the first wholly Girls College in the defunct Northern Region, the famous Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin, from 1988 to 1990.
Mr. Abdulkadir had a remarkable turn in his career path on March 3,1990.That was the historic date he was enlisted into the Nigeria Police as a Cadet Assistant Supreitiendent of Police (ASP). Upon the completion of his training, he was posted to the Okigwe Division in the Imo State Command of the Force where he did his attachment between 1991 and 1992.
He subsequently served in a number of places across the country such as been a pioneer staff of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police from 1993 to 2000 after which he was transferred to his ancestral home .In 2000,he was the Divisional Police Officer at the “C”Division, Oja-Oba, Ilorin. He also served at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Kwara State Police Command, between 2004 and 2008.He was on that position when he was promoted to the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
From 2008 to 2010,this great son of Ilorin Emirate was at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) on secondment from the Nigeria Police where he worked under the Chairmanship of a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mrs. Farida Waziri, towards reducing the level of financially-related crimes and criminality in Nigeria.
Mr. Abdulkadir is, no doubt, an intellectually prepared and professionally sophisticated officer who has taken full advantage of several training within and outside Nigeria to improve his professional competence and administrative wherewithal. He has benefited from about 20 professionally-related courses, conferences and workshops, which not only sharpened his intellectual horizons but also exposed him to emerging trend in the task of discouraging and eradicating crimes and criminality from our societies. Those training included Anti-Fraud course at the Police College, Ikeja, in 1993;NDIC/Police Seminar on Fraud/Forgeries in Banks at Enugu in 1994 and Advanced Detective course at the Police College, Ikeja, in 1997.He also received various training at the United States Embassy, Lagos; Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy and Microsoft Place 100,London.
Beside the above and in addition to several others that space would not permit their enumeration here, Alhaji Abdulkadir also attended the National Institute for Security Studies, Abuja, at end of which he was awarded the Fellowship of the Institute in 2016.
His profound training, exciting gallantry, enviable bravery and patriotic commitment to the safety of lives and property and loyalty to the Federal Republic of Nigeria must have informed his promotions and postings to several strategic positions in the course of his stimulating career.
In 2010,this distinguished Fellow of the Security Institute served as the Head of Operations in-charge of Abuja/Kano of the EFCC. While holding that strategic position in the dreaded anti-graft Commission, he was also simultaneously serving his fatherland as a Member of the National Identity Management Commission(NIMC).
On the completion of his engaging tour of duties to the above-mentioned strategic agencies of the Federal Government, Alhaji Abdulkadir was redeployed back to the Nigeria Police. He subsequently served as an Assistant Commissioner of Police in several States of the federation including Lagos, Yobe, Oyo as well as at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in the course of which he was also an effective Area Commander in-charge of the famed ancestral home of the Yoruba people, Ile-Ife, and its neighborhood-all between 2011 and 2015.
An officer who had spent no fewer than 25 enviable years in the Investigation and Intelligence network of the Nigeria Police, CP Abdulkadir was challenged with more work and responsibilities as he was promoted to the rank of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in 2016.As a Deputy Commissioner of Police, he served in various segments of the Force in Edo and Lagos States as well as at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 2016 to 2020.
As an hardworking, brave, gallant and committed officer and gentleman, Mr. Abdulkadir was deservedly elevated to the exalted rank of Commissioner of Police earlier this year. He was subsequently transferred to the Force Headquarters as the Commissioner of Police, Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), Abuja, where he dutifully served before his deployment to Cross-River as the Commissioner of Police and a Member of the State Security Council.
One very important aspect of the career of this illustrious son of Ilorin Emirate is that in all the places he served as an officer of the Nigeria Police, he always left behind for posterity a legacy of honesty, bravery, gallantry and compassion for which his ancestral community is renowned. He has been jealously projecting and polishing the good image of Ilorin as a dedicated and disciplined officer of the law over the years.
Mr. Abdulkadir is, by his recent deployment, following the glowing footpath of his illustrious senior compatriots who had served as Commissioners of Police in various States of the federation at one time or the other. Among those gentlemen were Alhaji Abdulsalam Ebun Agbabiaka, as earlier mentioned, and Alhaji Issa Ojibara,who long before his retirement, served as the Kogi State’s pioneer Commissioner of Police. Others who were so privileged were Alhaji Baba Adisa Bolanta, who served in Sokoto, Oyo and Imo States as CP, before his promotion to the rank of Assistant Inspector General and subsequent glorious retirement after serving as the Commandant of the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano, as well as Mr. Morenikeji, who hailed from Bode-Saadu,the headquarters of Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State. Mr. Morenikeji also retired as an Assistant Inspector-General of Police.
I must say that I am, indeed, one of the innumerable individuals who had fruitful personal interactions with Mr. Abdulkadir and with every cause to feel very proud of him. At the risk of being misrepresented or outrightly accused of sycophancy,I want to say that this rare officer is the right man for the job as I have once had the cause to report his good deed to yours sincerely not quite long ago.I took the pain to put this piece together as a way of unveiling what I know about this outstanding compatriot. How I wish Ilorin Emirate is blessed with many more of wonderful individuals who would not only be easy to approach but always willing and excited to promptly assist their less-privileged and more often than not “anonymous” compatriots who may not have anything to pay back such good deeds.
While I believe that Mr. Abdulkadir is imbued with all the qualities needed to succeed in his new assignment beyond the expectations of the Police High Command ,it is my sincere prayers that may Allah protect and bless him the more with those personal attributes; and with crop of officers and men that would assist him in the onerous task of protecting, to accolades, the lives and properties of the good people and residents of Cross-River State otherwise called “the people’s paradise” .
Alhaji Abdulkadir is an happily married man whose wife is that renowned public servant and unassuming politician, Hajiya Segilola Abdulkadir (nee Momo). His wife, an Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, trained Library Scientist, was a member of the Kwara State of House of Assembly between 2011 and 2019 and they are blessed with children who are also doing very well in their various pursuits.
*Imam is the National Publicity Secretary, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.