By Eric Elezuo
It was a gathering of grateful and happy people Thursday when the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu graciously bowed out of service after putting in 35 years of meritorious, enduring and selfless service to the Nigeria Police Force in particular and the Nigerian public in general.
The event, which held at the Zone 2 Police premises, Onikan, Lagos, incidentally marked the 60th birthday of the officer, whom almost everyone agrees was superlative in every ramification, and needless to say, the event was celebrated with pomp and pageantry.
The convoy of the AIG made its entry into the premises at exactly 12:25pm to the reception of well wishers, police officers and colleagues, who had criss crossed the length of the country to thank God him for 35 years of protection, preservation and provision as a police officer.
It was one event where almost everyone in attendance has one wonderful thing or another to say about the retiring AIG in relation to his stewardship in the service of the nation, humanity, and his own immediate constituency, the Police.
In their various tributes, and words of encouragement, the rank and file of the Police as well as the media, the Police Community Relations Committee among many others, all agreed that AIG Iliyasu is a man of the people with absolute listening ear, ready to act even at the shortest of notice, an enabler, enviable crime fighter and most importantly, a thorough disciplinarian.
Kicking starting the backlog of encomiums poured on the AIG was the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Hauwa Bello Idris, who acknowledged the father figure of Iliyasu in her life ever since her father passed away. She noted that she was taught the rudiment of public relations under the tutelage of the retiring AIG.
In his own remarks, the head, Monitoring Unit, CSP Uba Bangaji Adams, said though AIG Iliyasu will be missed, but all he has imbibed in all of them, will always be there for him like he never left. He applauded the efforts of the AIG in creating an enviable police force for people like him, saying “I am here, like my colleagues, as a reminder of what he is.
Speaking on behalf of the media, president of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), Samson Oki, described AIG Iliyasu as a loving father, generous and media friendly person whose stock in trade is carrying the media along in whatever he did.
Other respondents were DCP Umaru Shiling, DCP Adegoke Fayoade, Comrade Yinka Folarin of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights; ACP Saidat Ismail, Registrar, Customary Court of Appeal, Ogun State, Madam Ttitlayo Bello; Chairman, Ogun PCRC, Chief Samson Popoola, ACP Lucy Abibo, Chairman, Ogun PCRC, Apostle Kehinde Showemimo; Zone 2 DGS, ACP Bose Akinyemi; Rev (Dr) Francis Osibowale, Mr Matthew Imane and PCRC National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Mogaji Olaniyan Ibrahim.
The occasion, which paraded multiple high points, was spiced by the energetic performance of the renowned Eyo Masquerades of Lagos before the AIG cut an array of birthday cakes that filled the table, and contributed by well wishers.
In his speech, AIG acknowledged that for everything, there is a beginning and there is an end, and the the most important thing to leave on the sands of history should be deeds of positivism, saying “Always do whatever you have to do so that you will be on the good side of history”.
He reminded the police officers he was leaving behind never to relent, and that “when you fail, don’t think that is the end of life; stand up and try again, and you will succeed. Life is meant to shift: whatever you do; whatever you experience in life is part of the character and attitude that you will be judged, and it is part of your socialisation. A positive attitude comes from a positive mind, and a positive mind is that mind that always work with honesty.”
While thanking God that he was privileged to be disengaged alive considering the hassles of the job, he maintained that as before, he will always be available for anyone who is willing to tap from his wealth of experience and knowledge.
Iliyasu was seconded to take charge of Zone 2 Command Headquarters, Onikan Lagos following a Wireless Message dated November 8, 2019 from the Force Headquarters Abuja. He took over from DIG Lawal Shehu who was promoted and transferred to Force Headquarters.
AIG Ahmed Iliyasu holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History, Diploma in Law and Master Degree in Business Administration from Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto.
He was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Academy Annex, Kaduna as CADET ASP in the month of August, 1988 and has served within the force in various capacities. He started his career in his home state Kaduna as O/C Basic Studies at Police College Kaduna, 2i/c DCO Kachia Division Kaduna State, O/C GI SCIID Kaduna Command and O/C Anti Car-Theft.
He was then transferred to Gombe State as DPO Gombe Central, 2i/c SCIID Gombe and DPO Kaltungo Gombe State before he was transferred to the FCT Command Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Utako ‘B’ Division. He was made Director Professional Studies at the Nigeria Police Academy Kano, Area Commander Sokoto metro as Assistant Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner in-charge Anti-Fraud section at the force CIID Abuja. He was also the 2i/c Command at the Port Authority, Western Command Lagos; before his elevation to the rank of Commissioner of Police and posted to the Police Staff College Jos as Coordinator of Courses, Commissioner of Police Ogun State Command and FORCE PROVOST MARSHAL (in-charge of discipline).
Prior to his elevation to the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police and posting to Zone 2 Lagos: he was the Commissioner of Police in-charge of Kano State Command.
As a result of his sterling qualities in the force, Iliyasu is a recipient of so many awards, numerous to mention.