You can never tell what it takes to detect the minds of criminal suspects until you meet the Rivers state Commander Akin Fakorede of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad f-SARS Assistant Commissioner of Police Akin Victor Fakorede. The athletic built senior Police Officer is a serious minded Police officer upon whose shoulder rest the responsibility of bursting crime and controlling the rate of crime in Rivers state where he operates as the Commander of F-SARS at Port Harcourt.
He has experiences in international Police operations as AMISON Police Advisor in Somalia and in Darfur, Southern Sudan. Assistant commissioner of Police Akin Fakorede holds bachelor of Law degree LL.B from University of Calabar Cross Rivers state and Masters of Business Administration-MBA from University of Calabar. He attended Advance Legal Education-popularly called Nigerian Law School Bwari Abuja as he is a qualified Barrister-At Law (B.L) graduate. This Omuo-Ekiti born Crime Control expert remains a man many social miscreants and deviants hate to see because of his success rate of stopping them from engaging in armed Robbery, kidnapping, and other criminal activities that make living in the society sometimes difficult for law abiding citizens.
The Editorial Team of www.towncrier.ng on Tuesday 20th of March, 2018 was at Rivers state Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad Headquarters Port Harcourt South-South Nigeria where Assistant Commissioner of Police Akin Victor Fakorede engaged the Online Media www.towncrier,ng and below are excerpts of the chat in which he traced the major cause of moral decadence in the society as against the moral setting during his childhood growing up years when parents gave their children/wards true nurturing and care resulting to good behaviour and low crime rate in the society.
“My growing up years …I think it was that of any normal child of our generation as I have parents that were disciplined …we had values in our house. Now I am 47 years old and those of us that were born in the early 1960s and early 1970s there was a pattern of living in the society then as you cannot be outside the house by 7 O’clock which was an absurdity. You cannot sleep elsewhere as it was unthinkable as your parents needed to know who your friends are. By then we don’t have telephones but wherever you are your parents would like to know where you were. And we have school teachers that could use the cane on you without blinking an eye and without reservation and it was acceptable to your parents as a model of training so we were brought up to live by certain values of what is right and wrong. And you have fears and there were some fears in you that if you go off track that there was punishment waiting for you aside from that it was important that you keep your family name as you don’t bring shame and disgrace to your family name. These were the things that our parents and teachers taught us.
These were the things that our Sunday School Masters taught us that is the values of what is right and wrong that is the values of right living and that is the values of respect and responsibility. Then we had role models that we were looking up to. We had role models then that were our Head Masters, our school Principals, our Teachers, and our Pastors these were our role models and all these put together I think it has to shape the person you actually grow up to be. Then we grew up when our country was doing well in terms of our schools… it was unthinkable to hear of cultism and in fact you can never hear about cultism in our secondary schools and even now I hear that there is cultism in our primary schools. In those days you can never hear about all these things and unfortunately the society is confronted with these new challenges.”
The highly trained Assistant Commissioner of Police traced the role the media mostly the broadcast could play in influencing the choice of role models by youths whose restive minds could easily take to negative influences if not checked. And for him emulating the good characters of serving public officers actually played major part in adopting them as his role models as he stated thus “What motivated me to join the Police Force was my desire for a disciplined life, a life where you are able to contribute to the society in a way that will positively affect the society and that is aside from my admiration of certain individuals who then were in service people like Police Commissioner Fidelis Oyakhilome who was one time Rivers state Governor, he was a gentle man and he was Police Officer, we have people like Joseph Iyamabo of blessed memory , we had Police Commissioners then like Osamanyana and those people then who I have the privilege to see from a distance and one thing my father always made compulsory for us his children is that when it was 9-O’clock in the evening he used to call us to come and listen to network news.
We didn’t have a generator but Nigerian National Electric Power Authority-NEPA were always available then we watch the television even though I didn’t understand what may be said on the T.V in the early 1980s and I used to hear names like Sunday Adewusi the Inspector General of Police, like Akanbi Oniyangi (February 1982 – October 1983) was the Minister of Defense then under the Shehu Shagari Administration and I really did not understand what government policies and programmes were all about but I saw these people as people that were leading the society in the rightful direction and I was inspired and influenced by that so I had the admiration for the government and because I also had admiration for Richard Akinjide who was a Lawyer then that inspired my going to the university to train as a Lawyer.
These were a few of the Role Models. I try to encourage parents to allow their children even though we don’t do much of that these days and from their primary school and their secondary school they should take interest in current Affairs.
In those days in school we usually take interest in current Affairs as we have to know all the Governors, and you have to know some distinguished Government personalities and all of that. And these days you don’t find much of that as the interest of the youths are on the Video Games and any home you go to, the children are either watching Zee World or Nigerian Movies.
I try to discourage parents saying look “ let these children also begin to take interest in the governance of their country and let them watch Channels Television News by 10 -O’clock; it doesn’t matter whether they are understanding what they are talking about but let them just keep listening you know like a drop of water this information will begin to drop so it will trickle in and one very important tool about education is the Media and the Television especially has a lot of impact you see if you allow the children to consistently be on Nigerian Movie and African Magic and ZEE WORLD their inclination , their heroes and inspiration are going to be drawn from that. And to me that doesn’t seem to draw a lot of inspiration for children.
It is just for entertainment but you cannot just keep young people in a consistent state of entertainment someone has to let them to understand that there must be sober moment and studious moment and moment to understand what the world we live in is all about. And for me it worked …it created inspiration for me. And for me it created heroes for me. And knowing some of these heroes affected me”.
In most cases serving military and Para-military officers do desert their commission upon seeing the increased number of casualties inflicted to their fellow serving colleagues by hoodlums or criminal elements.
But for Assistant commissioner of Police ACP-Akin Victor Fakorede has a different view “No, it has not discouraged me, this is because as a young man I have a good understanding of life that in addition to all that you think you are, there are also the hands of God and there is also the hand of Faith. And this is what our Sunday Schools, our Churches and our Mosques; this is what they do to let the child know that there is the God factor.
There are things that are beyond the control of men, things that are beyond my control and your control as we did not determine where we were born and we definitely we are not going to determine the way we die. And these are not the choices that are available to you but if God is kind to you as we pray that He should be kind to us and whatever may be the challenges that you have faith, that God will protect you and God will keep you.
Once you have done all you can as a human being you just leave the rest in the hands of GOD and God has a final say in all of the lives of men and we have seen Heads of State of countries that have died and Nigeria as a country too we have had our own fair share of losing leaders so, that somebody dies in the cause of duty it doesn’t mean that the job is bad. It is just the way that person is destined to be. As people have died in the (Presidential) Villa and people have died in other circumstances and people die every day everywhere. So, that can never be a discouraging factor as we are exposed to a high degree of risk but again that is minimized by training. And that is why we are trying to put a lot of emphasis on training and the way we train our men and professionalism too.
We are not just an untrained element out there, the government has actually sent you to a lot of training’s in a lot of institutions how do you protect yourselves and how you are able to work in a risky environment with minimum loses. And I think I have good training and I have confidence in my training and with that confidence no matter what ever the challenges I will be able to scale through it”.
With increased high risk in controlling and managing crime, Law enforcement personnel must equip themselves with adequate training in intelligence gathering, knowledge of the Law and managerial skill in administering policies and programmes that will make the society an egalitarian one for all to live in and carry on with legitimate businesses making the citizens to have economic growth and healthy workforce.
The Omuo-Ekiti state born crime buster and control expert explained thus “I attended the Command Children School that is where I had my early education at Kaduna and I attended the Nigerian Military School Zaria where I had my secondary education and I attended the University of Calabar where I had my degree in Law. I also attended Nigerian Law School and I did my Post Graduate in the same institution (University of Calabar) for my Masters Degree In Business Administration –MBA and I have the privilege to attend professional training institutions in and out of Nigeria several of them and it has been privilege given to me by virtue of the goodwill of the Inspector-General of Police”
Having traversed the global Police Peace Maintenance Missions and Operations where theAMISON Police Advisor was posted to serve in hot spots he told www.towncrier.ng “Yes I was at the United Nations in 2007 to 2009 in Darfur, Southern Sudan. I was also in East Africa with the African union in 2013 to 2015, so eventually I have done two types of duties in two different Missions.
“Yes, I was married and having to be a service personnel and having a family is one of those challenges that all police officers experience. Even if you are not outside the country and sometimes even when you are within the country sometimes you move on short notices but thankfully I have been married and in the world that we live in today you cannot just sit in one place as your occupation will take you here and there. Virtually for all professions many families in the realities of our time families are separated by work either the wife is working in Lagos and the husband is working in Port Harcourt or the wife is at Calabar and the husband is here.
In fact in some situations you have families that are in different countries I really know quite a few as many Nigerians that work in multi nationals some of them are working in Qatar and some of them are working in United Arab Emirates-UAE so it is left for you to know how you can reconcile that.
What is important is family’s communication so when your family is not seeing you, you should be able to communicate with them and you are able to help them to weather the storm of your absence then whenever your job can afford to give you a break and there is no employer that does not give that break even as Police Officers from time to time you are entitled to Casual Leaves and you are entitled to Annual Leave and it is left for you to make this room so that you can have time to attend to your family because one of the reasons our children miss their ways is because couples are busy either the father is busy or the mother is busy and so you have very little time to supervise the children and it cuts across professions.
Even for regular couples that are in the same state father wakes up in the morning to go and look for daily bread and mother will go to look for daily bread it is only in the evenings that they come back and by that time the children have gone back to bed.
So, it is a challenge to families. It is a challenge that individuals must work out and it cannot be an excuse to fail our children. We just have to look for a way to deal with it. Apparently my family they are not with me as they are far away but from time to time I approach my boss and I ask him to give me 4-days off to go and see my family and he gives me that. And when the climate permits it and maybe my kids are on break I ask them to come over to see me somehow we have been managing to deal with the situations. And I am sure several Nigerians are going through the same challenge and everybody is managing it somehow.”
And for encouraging the younger low ranked Police personnel in service Assistant commissioner of Police Akin Victor Fakorede said “My advice to younger officers has always been the need for diligent and the need for commitments and the need for loyalty no matter how difficult it might seem this is what I always tell my staff….
“If you are consistent and you are diligent at whatever level, maybe you are Office Typist or a Cleaner maybe you are Operational Commander if you are diligent in your work it may take time but one day somebody will notice your diligence and will reward that diligent. One thing about service is that you will always have an opportunity to prove yourself no-matter how long it will take and if you are not a truant or a lousy and a disorganized person some supervisors will notice you at some point and will recommend you”.
And I will like to give an example… when we were working in Somalia there was a particular officer from Nigeria he was actually a Corporal and he does his work so well, at some point a new Special Representatives of Chairman of African Union Commission-SRCC he was the Executive Head of the Mission in Somalia he came and he said he needed a Nigerian Police Officer to be attached to his office and he said that to the Head of Administration who was from Kenya and the SRCC is a Chadian from Chad, Ambassador SadiQuo Head of African union Mission in Somalia. And immediately he said that, they started looking for that Nigerian Police Corporal. Now they told the Nigerian Police Corporal ‘now we are sending you to work as a Police Aide to the SRCC, the boy worked there as he was posted.
And Ambassador Sadiquo was eventually redeployed to head the United Nations Operation in Congo and of course he carried this Nigerian officer and that officer has been with him since 2014 since 4 years running”.
That is an example of what diligence can do, so my advice to young officers is that, please be diligent and you will definitely be found. I have not seen a diligent man that goes and leaves empty handed or leaves without a reward. Reward will definitely come as you don’t need to know anybody just do your work and do it diligently every boss wants somebody who can deliver result just one day your boss is going to spot you and will say ‘this young man is good and I want him to work here’ and you are going to have an opportunity to prove yourself. And once that opportunity is given to you, your star will never dim that is the way it goes.”
He has low tolerance to officers or staff who indulges in making excuses whenever they fail in taking responsibilities assigned to them. ACP Akin Fakorede tells you about his early days in Police service when he wakes up in the early hours and embark on road walk targeting to meet up with duty Post assignment just to be there on schedule and keep his job and responsibility.
He gives the narrative about the shift in paradigm by nowadays youths who in his words never have respect or imbibe good character that will propel them to taking up leadership positions like the men that he observed in his growing up years.