Smart Ladies: Changing The Image Of The Police
Gender equality is a global campaign that seeks to place a higher value on the work that women do. Today, women are the main breadwinners in 4 out of 10 homes and have veered into vocations and professions hitherto viewed as exclusively for men.
Although women make up nearly the workforce in different countries, there is still some disparity when evaluating the wage gap especially as it concerned the security of lives and property. The Police Force is seen as a male dominated profession where women often encounter institutional barriers and are rarely afforded opportunities for promotion and advancement. Some are of the opinion that gender inequality in patriarchal institutions contributed to women’s subordinate status.
The historic passing out parade of the first Nigerian women’s police at the Southern Police ground, Ikeja on April 26, 1956, witnessed by crowds of African and Europeans had changed the perceptions of many. The parade showed that women were more than capable of holding their own with the men. The Colonial Office’s annual report for Nigeria in 1955 explained that ‘approval was obtained during the year for the employment of Women Police’.
After the initial intake of just twenty women, who embarked on a six-month recruits’ training course at the Southern Police College, after which they were posted to Lagos (Annual Report, 1955, 134), more women have at different times joined the Force not minding the initial discrimination and opposition to the introduction of policewomen especially in Northern Nigeria.
Widespread police brutality is one of the problems in Nigeria as well as in other countries. While conversations about solutions have been mostly focused on better training or a need for community engagement, a brilliant idea is being overlooked: increasing the numbers of women in the Nigerian Police Force.
According to P.M.EXPRESS findings, female police officers are less authoritarian in their approach to policing, less reliant on physical force and are more effective communicators. Having more police women today is therefore helping to change the perception and the image of the Nigerian Police.
In different police formations across Nigeria, female officers are helping to change the image of the Force with their smartness, beauty, professionalism and dedication to their assignments.
One of such officers making the Nigerian Police Force proud with their smartness, intelligence, beauty and dedication to duty is Vicky Mulero. Vicky is a Superintendent of Police. She is the Officer in Charge of Senior Officers of the Lagos State Police Command.
She has a B.Sc in Public Administration from the Adekunle Ajasin University in Ondo State. Vicky started her Police career in Ondo State in 1998 before she was transferred to the Lagos State Command. She was later moved to Ogun State Command before she being transferred back to Lagos State Police Command where she is presently working as a Staff Officer to the Police Commissioner.
Vicky Mulero has been described by her colleaques as a smart dedicated officer with humility and intelligence who takes her police work with passion and had been steadfast. It is not a surprise then that she had built and earned the confidence and trust of Senior Police Officers in the past and currently. She had been appointed the Officer in Charge of Confidential and Secret registries to about five Commissioners of Police and still hold the position of SOS at the Command.
The amiable Mulero has worked in many capacities since she joined the Force. She has worked as Divisional Police Officer, DPO, DCO, OC Motopol, POWA Liason Officer to mention but a few. Her hard work, diligence and competence earned her International engagements outside Nigeria as a United Nation Police Contingent Commander to Sudan. In South Sudan she worked as the UN Advisor on Gender and Vulnerable Persons and also as the Community Policing Officer before she returned to Nigeria.
SP Mulero has great passion for police service and remains a staunch advocate of community policing who was trained both in Nigeria and abroad. She has attended various courses with certificates relating to Advance and International Standard of Policing. She is a native of Ogun State and comfortably married to a Deltan husband and blessed with lovely children. Vicky loves listening to good music, travelling and driving as her hobbies.
Another smart and dedicated police woman is CSP Veronica Ameh-Akpa. Veronica was born in Jos, Plateau State to late DSP James Ameh (Rtd) and Mrs. Amina Ameh.
She is a native of Otukpa Ogbadibo, Benue State. She attended Catherine Primary School Markudi, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Primary School Makurdi and Saint Anne’s Secondary School, Otukpo, Benue State.
With the zeal for greatness and self actualization, she gained admission into Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and bagged a B.Sc Degree in Business Administration in 1999. Veronica later bagged her Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 2004 also from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. She equally obtained other degrees thereafter including Executive Diploma in Crime Prevention and Community Safety from Elizade University.
The pretty officer got enlisted into the Nigerian Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in 2002 after her mandatory National Youth Service in Abuja from 2010 – 2011. She was trained in the prestigious Police Academy, Wudil, Kano in August 2002 and passed out as an Assistant Superinterdent of Police in February 2014.
Veronica had her first posting from Police Academy, Kano in 2004 to Katsina State where between 2004 and 2007, she served in various capacities as O/C Confidential Registry Katsina State Police Command, Divisional Traffic Officer, Divisional Crime Officer and Acting DPO, all at Sabon Gari Divisional Headquarters, Katsina State.
In 2008 to 2009, Veronica was posted to Lagos State where she served as O/C Gbagada Police Post. She was also at State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti Yaba, where she served as Team Leader, 2ic and also Acting OC Anti-Fraud Section between 2009 and 2013.
In between 2010 – 2011, she served in the United Nation’s Peacekeeping Force in Unamid, Darfur, where she served as OIC(Officer-in-Charge) Sector North Gender and Child Protection Unit. In August, 2013, she had another call to service as Desk Officer, Gender and Youths, then 2ic Zonal Intelligence Bureau (ZIB) at Zone 2 Headquarters Onikan, Lagos and also as Acting OC (Officer-in-charge) ZIB from October, 2014 – February, 2015.
In February, 2015, in recognition of her dedication to duty and hard work, she was posted as OC (Officer in Charge State Intelligence Bureau, Lagos State Police Command – the first female to hold the position.
Within this period, due to her tireless zeal to service she was honoured with awards such as Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) Distinguished Award in Crime Fighting in December, 2015. She was also recognised as Mr and Miss Nigeria International Top Security Personnel of the Year 2015. Veronica also got Nigeria Order of Merit and Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions to Security and Intelligence in 2016. She also received Daily Pride Communication Crime Busters Award in 2016 and Nigeria Peace Award of Commitment among other awards.
Veronica has attended series of local and international trainings namely:
1. Crime Scene Management, Lagos 2009
2. Human Rights and Conflict Resolution by CLEEN Foundation, Lagos 2009
3. Sexual and Gender Based Violence/Community Policing, Darfur, Sudan 2010
4. Background Check International Training, Lagos 2010
5. Presentation Skills, Darfur, Sudan 2010
6. Security Sector Reform Police Course KAIPTC Accra, Ghana 2012
7. Intelligence Process Training by J4ALL/DFID November, 2013
8. Conflict Management Workshop Nigeria Army College of Logistics, Lagos 2014
9. Introduction to Criminal Intelligence, NDLEA, August, 2014
10. Advanced Criminal Intelligence Course, NDLEA September, 2014
11. Sexual and Gender Based Violence Training IPSTC, Nairobi, Kenya, January 2015
12. Child Protection Training, IPSTC Nairobi, Kenya, February, 2015
13. Sexual and Gender Based Violence Training of Trainers, IPSTC Nairobi Kenya November, 2016
Veronica is a member of the International Association of Chief of Police, International Association of Women Police and a member of International Association of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA).
She is married with two children and presently the Officer in Charge State Intelligence Bureau, Lagos State Police Command.
Also worthy of mention among the smart female officers helping to change the image of the Nigerian Police Force is CSP Margaret Okonkwo.
Chief Superintendent Margaret Okonkwo obtained the National Certificate of Education from Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Bachelors of Science degree in Economics/ Education from University of Nigeria Nsukka, Masters in Public and International Affairs from University of Lagos. During her academic pursuit she was the Vice President of her department (Economics).
Margaret was recruited into the Nigeria Police Force as a cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police, Course 21 Police Academy, Wudil, Kano in 2002, also a unit parade commander of her squad (5). She was the general number one for both women Cadet ASPs and Inspectors respectively. She went through several trainings, physical and citizenship trainings at Sherri Hills Plateau State, and equally underwent combat and operational trainings at Gwoza, Maiduguri 2003.
On completion of her course in 2004, she was posted to Kaduna State. After her stint in Kaduna, she was drafted to the United Nation Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo July 2008– 2009. While serving there Margaret Okonkwo attended a course on Security and Criminal Intelligence, and she had another one on Intelligence Report Writing Evaluation Handling System in Kosovo. She also attended pre –redeployment training course in Ghana 2012.
On her return from the United Nation Peace Keeping Mission, she was posted to Lagos State Police Command where she served as the Divisional Crime Officer, Ikeja Police Station (Area F Police Command). Margaret also served as an officer in charge Juvenile Welfare Center (J.W.C.) Area F Ikeja 2012. She served as a Divisional Traffic Officer Man Centre Police Station, before moving to serve as Divisional Traffic Officer, Oko-Oba Police Station under Area G Command in 2013. After three months at Oko-Oba Police Station, she was posted as the Area Traffic Officer Area G Command – supervising Nine (9) Divisions of the Area Command.
She performed her duties professionally without supervision as the Area Traffic Officer and was fondly called Iya Onigba on the field of traffic control. During the mass transfer of 2015, she was moved to Ebonyi State where she was posted as the Area Crime Officer, Abakaliki Metro. In 2016, Margaret was transferred to Railway Police Command and was posted as the Divisional Police Officer Agege Station in Lagos State, where she performed more than expected of a female officer. Her strength of character and dedication to assigned duties really sum up the adage that ‘what a man can do a woman can do better’. She has shown over time to be a talented and smart officer with a difference. Presently she is the Lagos State Traffic Officer fondly called MOTOPOL.
CSP Margaret Okonkwo is a recipient of Gold Medal Award from the United Nations for hard work and dedication to duty. She was given an award by the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Lagos Chapter in recognition of her selfless service to humanity in the area of traffic management and control. Junior Chambers International, Lagos Metropolitan Nigeria equally gave her an award for Exceptional Talent, Strength and Outstanding Performance.
On the 30th of November, 2017, she received the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) award for Excellence in Traffic Management. Margaret is also a humble holder of the Pragmatic Leadership Award by Society for Public Against Drugs and Crimes (SPODAC), 2017. Peace Magaxine also gave her an award for Excellence in Crime Fighting 2017. CSP Margaret Okonkwo bagged a Monumental Achievements Award from Crime Link Publications in 2017, in recognition of her commitment to National Development through crime prevention, management control, conflict resolution and respect for human rights. She also got a Meritorious Service Gold Award from Leadership Values and Pinciples Enhancement Initiative for Crime Prevention, Management and Control 2017. Margaret has so far received all kinds of awards for her committed approach to duties including Charismatic Leadership Award in Commitment to Public Service Through Traffic Prevention, Control Management, Peace Building and Administrative Excellence by Nigeria Voice of Peace Reconciliation, a distinguished Police Merit Award as the Most Distinguished Police Officer in Diligence and Meritorious Services to Humanity by Fresh Fact Magazine 2018, A Distinguished Service Excellence Award for commitment to citizen welfare through crime prevention, award for Effective Policing and Community Relations by Citizen Welfare Foundation 2018, Leadership Hope Media Achievers Awards for excellence service to humanity, Special Recognition Award by CWAY Food and Beverages on Traffic Control Day, 2018. The Nigeria Focus News Magazine award was also presented to her in recognition of her commitment to National Service.
CSP Margaret Okonkwo has been honoured with different awards for her distinguished service to Nigeria and her immediate constituency, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
This dynamic smart police officer has also been recognised in her home community as an achiever and exemplary ambassador of her people. Her community gave her the traditional chieftaincy title – Ada Dioramma of Igbo land. She also holds the chieftaincy title – Ugebe Ezinulo of Abatete in Anambra State as well as having been honoured with Ogbu Abatete Improvement Union Merit Award, while not excluding the Abatete Development Organisation Honourary Award in 2016. CSP Okonkwo is married and blessed with children.
Another in the line of smart female officers positively positioning the image of the Nigeria Police Force is CSP Oyinpreyobofa Francess.
CSP Oyinpreyebofa Frances .A. (nee Nemisinghan) is currently serving as the DPO, Ago Police Division under the Lagos State Police Command. Oyin as she is fondly called is an intelligent officer born and raised in Warri.
CSP Oyin is a graduate of Sociology and holds a Masters Degree in MILR Industrial Labour Relations both at Delta State University, Abraka. She enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as a cadet (ASP) Assistant Superintendent of Police in 2002. She like many others was trained at the Police Academy, Wudil Kano, before she was posted to Enugu State. She passed out in 2004 from the Academy.
She has also attended several courses and conferences both at home and abroad. She is a member of (IACP) International Association of Chiefs of Police and also a member of International Association of Women Police (IAWP). She was a one time (PRO) Public Relations Officer of POWA and presently the Social Secretary of POWA Lagos State Chapter. Oyin was also a one time secretary to the famous Baptist Girls High School Agbor, Old Girls Association, Lagos State Chapter and presently their Security Adviser.
She has worked in various states and departments of the Police Force. She was OC JWC, Uwani Division, Enugu, DCO Gwagwaruwa Division, Kano, AO Fillinhuki Division, Kano, DTO Man Centre Division, DCO Man Centre Division, AO Ikeja Division, DCO Ikeja Division, Acting DPO Ikeja Division, DPO Man Center. She was 2.ic Area West and Acting Commander Area West, Airport Police Command, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) of Isolo Okota Division.
Oyin has won numerous awards as a Police Officer. Due to her kind heartedness, she was honoured with the title Ezinne (Good Mother) by C.W.O. Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral, Kano in the year 2009. She was among the 50 recipients that got honoured by the Lagos State Government at the Lagos@50 Hall of Fame Awards as a Peace Ambassador. Other awards Oyin has received included:
– Best Media Friendly Police Officer of the Year Award by Rainbow Event Magazine
– Most People Friendly Police Officer in Nigeria, courtesy of the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN)
– Most Outstanding Police Officer of the Year by MOPO
– Pragmatic Leadership Awards by Zenith International Magazine among other awards.
CSP Oyin is passionate, smart and a lover of peace with a special gift in conflict resolution. Testimonies abound on how she has helped solved disputes that would have ordinarily ended up in court as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Officer. She has equally taken serious criminal cases and pursued them to logical conclusions and with that her simplicity cannot be taken for granted. She is presently the Social Director – POWA; working with the wife of CP, Mrs. Mary Edgal who is the chairperson of POWA.
The above mentioned smart female police officers and many others that P.M.EXPRESS will highlight in subsequent editions have reasonably positively changed people’s perception about the Nigeria Police as they have shown to be good communicators and resolved complex security challenges without the brutality tag associated with the Force before now.