She is a cop but frowns at the usual police “settlement”. She is determined to deal with any officer or personnel found in this cockpit of corruption. Mrs. Hilda-Ibifuro Harrison, the port Commissioner of Police is the personality. She has a fleeting chat with MMS plus weekly. Excerpt:
How would you access your position so far?
My position here is to ensure good concept of policing, and the Western Port is a specialized area and strategic to the economy. I am coming here with the mission and vision of the Inspector General of Police to ensure that the national law enforcement agency partnering with all the shareholders to ensure security is well in place around the ports and I must say that there have been great cooperation from all the stakeholders to ensure that security is well in place in the Port.
Just about two months in the saddle, what can you say are your challenges?
For me, the challenge and a very huge one at that has been the traffic gridlock around the port. And you can attribute that to the fact that the stride in the economic development of the country has not in any way matched the infrastructural development. Government effort at improving the infrastructure does not come over night. So, it is learning to work with the available logistics and that’s why we have the traffic gridlock. A lot of human efforts have to come in, so it is still the same synergy we are talking about. The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has its men working on traffic; other agencies are collaborating with Police officers who are on traffic duties to ensure that traffic is moving at those Ports, so that there is no standstill but at least moving gradually.
There is also the issue of some police men using touts to extort money from people, though I have not seen that in recent time but how do you describe things like that?
Since you have categorically stated that you have not seen it in recent times, I thank you for that. Since I came in, I have had lectures in all my divisions around and I told them that my stand is zero tolerance for corruption. I can’t imagine security agencies working with touts, please if any comes to your knowledge let me know immediately so that I can deal with it decisively. Some persons need to be deterred at all times from taking wrong actions and put them in place and those that cannot be reformed will be shown the way out.
What is the security situation now?
It is Christmas season and naturally we expect increase in miscreants’ activities who will also want to get something home for Christmas and so the security agencies and Western Port Police Command have been sensitized to ensure no breach of security. Our eyes and ears are on the ground. You the journalists and all the stakeholders should also be our eyes and ears, help us work the environment, let us share information and intelligence to ensure security is well in place at the ports. We will do our own bit. My men will be very visible, they will be all around the port at their posts, and there will be vehicular patrols so that we will have very robust and peaceful Christmas.
Are there Policemen who police the Police?
We actually have our own ways of supervising our men in our own very efficient way. It is by visiting the men on their beats unawares. We have registers for our supervisors, we have their schedule. The supervising officers meet the men on their duty posts and take note of their activities and ensure that they are at their beats and posts and if they are not found, they are immediately sanctioned. With that at the back of their minds, they ensure that they are at their posts every time.