By: Onifade Bello A.
A Nigerian police officer, Julius Adedeji, who has never collected bribe since he joined the police force, has been honoured by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).
This is coming close to a year after survey conducted by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed officers of the Nigerian Police Force to be among the most corrupt public officials in the country, due to prevalent bribery.
Amidst this unpleasant record, Julius Adedeji who is a superintendent of police and who currently serves in the Ekiti State Police Command, has stood out among his peers to be exceptional in the force.
Adedeji is said to have never collected bribe — not because he has never been offered such but because it appears “needless” for him.
In an interview with the BBC, Adedeji was astonished to receive the award because he never knew he was being watched while serving his fatherland.
For this rare feat, the BBC celebrates him as Nigeria’s ‘Most Dedicated Police Officer’.
“I thank God that it’s recognised and I feel like putting my best more and more,” Adedeji said.
“A copy of the letter (from the BBC) was delivered to my office for my information, when I read through it, I was wondering could it be true? I read through the letter and I saw that it said: they wanted an institution where they can name and shame those that are not doing well and encourage the people that are doing well within the Nigerian Police Force. I felt so great.”
Adedeji who said that he has never collected bribe, however, admitted there were times he had been tempted to take it.
When asked if he has ever been offered money in the form of bribe, he said: “Absolutely. And even today a person offered to give me some money and I said ‘no, no, no, no, why would you do that, I’m just doing my work.”
“There’s no way one would not once in a while be tempted,” he said, adding that he “just wants to do what is right.”
Advising other police officers who see bribe as a source of living, Adedeji remarked thus: “I know in my little space where I work, I’ve seen people who are going the wrong way. We’ve talked to them and told them you don’t have to do this and God will find a way to bless you when you’re doing what is right.”
There have been ambivalent reactions to Adedeji’s feat; some users on Twitter encouraged him to keep up with the good work; while others poured out lamentations about the corruption in the Nigerian Police.