CSP Francis Osagie Erhabor, the policeman and divisional policeman (DPO) responsible of ‘D’ division Itam in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, who is acclaimed to have never taken a bribe since over 30 years in active service, has resigned from the profession.
Erhabor, who made headlines after rejecting a whopping N864 million bribe, was on December 10, 2020, at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, in Abuja, during the 2020 IgbereTV Leadership Excellence Awards named ‘Police officer of the year’ after coming tops within the nationwide online voting.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on New Year day, 1st January 2021, the policeman lamented that he feels cheated by the system, having been denied promotion quite thrice despite all his efforts and sacrifices for the police and therefore the country.
His words: “I joined this noble profession as a cadet inspector on the 2nd of April, 1990. i used to be 17 years plus at the time. i used to be told by cerebral and seasoned cops like AIG Albasu, AIG Akagbosun, AIG Iyamabo, and DIG Ugowe all retired, that the force needed folks like me. Youths who were patriotic and passionate.
“I loved and believed during this project called Nigeria, and therefore the profession, the Nigeria Police was an excellent platform to serve my fatherland. I sincerely believed during this job, loved this job and sacrificed such a lot for this job.
“Looking back, all I see is “nobody cares”. Being cheated out of promotion not once, twice or thrice. Served over thirty years meritoriously and stainless by God’s grace, and not honoured by the system, instead have only enjoyed promotion only 5 times. I thank God for His grace, that insulated me for the past 30yrs.”
On how he rejected N864m bribe, CSP Erhabor said, “As a pipeline Commander in Edo state, I turned down N6.5m weekly; N24m monthly; N288m yearly, and a whooping sum of N864 for the 3years I served as a commander.”
Asked if he regrets his actions, he said, “I haven’t any regrets for doing this.” “If given the test again, i will be able to repeat same feat, stupidly twice, albeit a number of my colleagues term me a fool,” CSP Erhabor added.
“I even volunteered as a teacher , to coach Police Mobile Personnel at Limakara, Gwoza, Borno State for over 3 years. Discharged my duty as a teacher , within the most harshest and difficult condition, with none commendation reward, or promotion, and today just for just working within the corridors of power; or having the ability to grease some palms or, as claimed, being attacked due to #EndSARS, Juniors will just be promoted above their superiors a bit like that.”
He said he feel hurt seeing his junior cops promoted over him, insisting nothing had been done by the Force despite the formal complaints where he asked for the ratification of his promotion.
“I have witnessed my juniors get promoted over me over and once again , and it hurts deeply. I filed a complaint, asked for ratification of my promotion date, and was even investigated, with the result verified in my favour, yet nothing has been done to remedy things .”
‘I have wasted 30 years serving my fatherland’
CSP Francis Erhabor said he feels he has wasted 30 years of his precious time serving his ‘fatherland’, during a police profession he once believed to be a “noble” one.
According to Erhabor, rather, the system rewards mediocrity, nepotism, and every one other ignoble acts and care less about those that step on the trail of dignity and honour.
“This profession I once called a noble one, doesn’t care about those folks who tread the trail of honour and dignity. I once had a dream about the the Nigeria police , becoming the people’s force; the country’s pride. So sad, I not believe the system as a noble one, but one were mediocrity, nepotism, and every one other ignoble acts are given higher preference.
“I am sorry I let all my fans down. i’m deeply pitying not finishing where you all expected me to end . Thanks for your strong and relentless faith in me. I remain forever grateful to you all,” CSP Erhabor added.
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