By Abubakar Imam
Shortly after the announcement of the elevation of a distinguished son of Ilorin, Mr Moshood Olohundare Jimoh, to the enviable rank of Police Commissioner on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 by the authorities of the Nigeria Police, quite a number of my illustrious compatriots requested me to do this piece in order for our people to know more about him. It is not that Jimoh Moshood is not well-known. Having been a newsmaker for several years, no conscious adult Nigerian would claim that he or she doesn’t know him. But people just want to know this “dahiri” more through the hands of yours sincerely.
Most of those who requested this piece, however, didn’t know that I shared a close relationship of four decades with Mr Jimoh. This relationship is so time-tested that I can be permitted to say that he and I “grew up” together.
The new Police Commissioner was my immediate senior at Barakat Community Secondary School, Ilorin. He was in Form Two when I was admitted into Form One in January, 1984. I instantly took interest in him because he was neat, polished, diligent, brilliant, articulate and humble. He was also one of the few seniors who don’t take pleasure in “punishing” their junior colleagues unnecessarily.
As God would have it, I again met him at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on my admission into the prestigious institution in 1993. He was in 200 level at the University’s Department of Political Science while I was a member of the pioneer set of students of the institution’s Department of Mass Communication that was admitted in 1993.
One day, we ran into each other at the premises of the then Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), which houses our departments. He recognised me instantly and called me by my middle name, which is known to only very few ones. It took me a few seconds before I could emotionally process his face and recognise him. We shook hands and exchanged addresses. And we continued with our relationship as contemporaries brought together by schooling from that point.
Two years later, the new CP was elected as the President of the Samaru Campus chapter of the Ilorin Emirate Students Union (IESU) while I was elected as its Secretary-General. Hajiya Aminat Ibrahiim Oniye, the beautiful daughter of the Makama of Ilorin, was the Vice President while Engr Suleiman Musa Elegba succeeded yours sincerely as the Publicity Secretary of the Union.
The election not only strengthened our relationship but also gave me the privilege of being closer to him and knowing him more intimately. He subsequently became known to my family members as I am also known to his, particularly to his younger brother, Latunji.
Just as Yoruba would say “Omo ti oje Asamu, ati kekere ni ti se enu samu samu” (a child destined for greatness often exhibits leadership qualities right from childhood), the new CP has always shown the traits of what he has “come to become”.
He has always been focused, determined and courageous. It was through him that I first had access to uniformed men and men of power.
I recalled that on December 24, 1995, Mr Jimoh drove to my Pakata home without prior notice. He asked me to dress up as we will be visiting the then Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Command. I asked him what for and he explained that we needed to invite the CP to our programme which was scheduled for a week after. I was afraid of meeting a Police Commissioner particularly in his office. He asked me not to worry that I should just come with him to the headquarters of the Kwara Police Command. There, we went but unfortunately the CP was not on seat and we left the Invitation Card for him.
A day after, he also asked me to come with him to see the then Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, late General Abdulkareem Adisa. The two of us and in company of one of our female members (Hanifat from Isale Oja Quarters of Ilorin) visited the late General at his GRA Ilorin residence to solicit financial assistance for IESU, ABU, Zaria chapter. It was an encounter I wouldn’t forget.
We were ushered into the presence of the General who was taking his breakfast. The General, who had earlier served as the Military Governor of the Old Oyo State) asked us to introduce ourselves and the courses of study we were pursuing at the University as well as our mission to his residence. The response of the General when Mr Jimoh told him that he was reading Political Science would always encourage the new Commissioner of Police and I to thank Allah for His mercies on him.
In 1996 and in furtherance of his patriotism, the new CP initiated the formation of Barakat Community Secondary School Old Students Association. He was elected as its Protem Chairman while Dr AbduRasaq Saliu Oyelami, an indigene of Osun State, who was then a Medical student of the University of Ilorin, emerged the Protem Secretary. I was an active member as I remembered that I served as the Master of Ceremony at the Career Day organised by the Association. The event was largely bankrolled by the new CP as he was doing a holiday job at the famous Aye Blocks, Sobi Road, Ilorin.
Mr Moshood Olohundare Jimoh was born on August 10, 1971 in the city of Ilorin into the family of Alhaji Jimoh Umoru Bolanta,of BF 17,Bolanta Quarters, Balogun Fulani, Ilorin, and Alhaja Alimat Onikepe Gbadamosi Jimoh of Obada Village, Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State. His father is a retired soldier while his mother is a trader.
The new Police Commissioner commenced his intellectual pursuit as a pupil of a local Quranic school where he acquired the skills of the recitation of the Holy Quran at a tender age. Like most of his contemporaries across Ilorin, young Moshood was simultaneously enrolled into Karuma LSMB Primary School, Karuma, Ilorin, where he was trained between 1976 and 1982.
He, thereafter, proceeded to Barakat Community Secondary School, Ilorin, where he earned his West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1987. It was at this School that his leadership potentials and qualities were first discovered and tapped as he was twice appointed as a School Prefect. He was initially the Assistant Time-Keeper and later the School’s Health Prefect. His performances in the two offices were, according to the school’s records, found very satisfactory.
This great son of Ilorin Emirate was further trained at the famous Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from 1992 to 1997. It was at this great citadel of learning that he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.
While at the University, Mr Jimoh played very active roles in the activities of the institution’s chapter of Ilorin Emirate Students Union and the National Association of Kwara State Students, which he served as the President and Welfare Officer, between 1995 and 1997 and from 1994 to 1995, respectively. He was also the National Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of Ilorin Emirate Students Union, National Headquarters, between 1995 and 1997. Dr Ilyas Ayodeji AbdulRasaq of the University of Abuja was the Chairman while yours sincerely was the Public Relations Officer.
Mr Jimoh started his exciting public service career as an NYSC staff of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Abuja. He offered his youth service at the Ministry between 1997 and 1998. And was the President of Industrial Corpers Forum at the Ministry.
In the year 2000, this distinguished officer and gentleman was enlisted into the Nigeria Police as a Cadet Assistant Supreritiendient of Police (ASP). He was trained at the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano, from 2000 to 2001 along with several coursemates from other parts of Nigeria.
On completion of his training and subsequent commissioning as an ASP, Mr Jimoh was deployed to the Akampa Division of the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Police in 2001.
He held other service positions at the Command before he was redeployed to Sudan as a Member of the Nigeria Police contingent to the African Union Peace-Keeping Mission in the hitherto War/crisis-ridden Country.He excelled as an hardworking and meticulous officer who not only did the Nigeria Police proud but also represented Nigeria excellently .
In 2008, Mr Jimoh was in charge of then SIB, an Intelligence Bureau of the FCT before he assumed the position of the Police Public Relations Officer of the Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigeria Police, which had the late DIG Haruna John as the CP. He satisfactorily discharged his responsibilities as the link between the Command and members of the public.
Upon his completion of tour of duties as the FCT Police Command’s Spokesman, Mr Jimoh served as the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of the strategic Central Police Station, Abuja, from 2012 to 2013.
He subsequently served as the Officer-in-Charge, Department of Research and Planning, Federal Capital Territory Police Command in 2013. Thereafter, he was redeployed to Cross River, where between 2014 and 2015, he was the Chief Superintendent of Police, Department of Finance and Accounts, Cross River State Police Command. He was later reposted to Abuja and held the same position in the FCT Police Command from 2015 to 2016.
In appreciation of his exciting capacities, diligence, integrity and professionalism, Mr Jimoh was from July, 2016 to January, 2017, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer at the Force Headquarters, Abuja. He subsequently took over the office in substantive capacity after about six (6) months. He was, therefore, the Force Public Relations Officer from January, 2017 to January, 2019 during which he not only became an household name throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria but also gave a very good account of himself as a competent, polished and articulate Image-Maker of the nation’s Police.
Following his promotion to the rank of Deputy Commissioner, he was appointed as DCP Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Airport Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos, which he assumed in February, 2019. He was again moved to the Oyo State Command where he served as Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Finance and Administration and also served briefly as Ag. CP before his posting to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Annex, Gombe with jurisdiction covering the six (6) States in the North Eastern geopolitical zone.
Mr Jimoh is a Member of many professional bodies such as the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria, the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria (ICAN), the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and the African Business School, Abuja. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants and Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria
This outstanding officer of the law is equally a recipient of several honours and awards. These include the NIPR Presidential Award, the Commissioner of Police Letter of Commendation for Diligence and Excellent Performance, the Award of Recognition for Commendable Service as a Civilian Police Member of the African Union Peace Mission in Sudan in 2007 and the Certificate of Commendation on Outstanding Performance and Dedication to duties towards the actualisation of peace in Sudan.
Mr Jimoh, who is happily married and blessed with children, is an embodiment of patriotism and faith in Allah. He is also an epitome of humility and a study in perpetual resilience and exciting perseverance.
Aside the above, the new Police Commissioner is also a very generous person and a man who doesn’t forget those who were with him when he was coming up. I am a beneficiary of his thoughtfulness and generousity on many occasions, the most recent of which was last year.
Despite our closeness and being one of those covered in the book, I deliberately refused to tell him of the preparations for the public presentation of my book, “Ilorin Emirate ‘s Frontliners”. He, however, learnt of it from our mutual friend, Rasheed Isiaka Aiyelabegan and took no offence. Instead, he immediately placed a call to me. He congratulated me and sent me some money for preparations with assurances that he would also launch the book, which he eventually did.
As Mr Jimoh settles down in his new rank and office, I join numerous friends and well-wishers to wish the new CP a more colourful, successful and rewarding career in the Nigeria Police and in life at large.
Imam is National Secretary, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.
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