Celebrated Police officer and the winner of 2019 Integrity Icon award, CSP Francis Erhabor, Divisional Police Officer of Itam, Akwa Ibom State, has stated that honesty and truthfulness as a Police officer for three decades earned him public trust and great partnership.
CSP Erhabor made this known during a Radio Town Hall Meeting Against Corruption, organized by Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG), with support from the MACARTHUR FOUNDATION.
It will be recalled Erhabor is prominently renowned for refusing N6m bribe when he was appointed Pipeline Commander by the PPMC with an allowance of N37, 500 in 2019. He also declined an illegal arrangement that would have fetched him N500, 000 daily return from oil bunkerers , which was way above his monthly stipend from the government but he stood his ground and never compromised.
According to him resisting bribes for 30 years wasn’t easy but it is worth it. He credited the feat to his upbringing, stressing that his parents shaped and forged his life and destiny. Erhabor said discouragements from friends made him take a strong decision against bribery.
“I took a very strong vow, I told God to disgrace me publicly on the day I compromise on this job that I promised to uphold with honour and integrity.
“Even if I take Twenty Naira (N20) from the public, embarrass me God ,” he vowed.
When asked how rewarding his uprightness has been, he said: “you can’t measure the reward, it is phenomenal, it has no limit, I am enjoying partnership with members of the public.
“The public now joins me to police my environment. I could walk in the midst of people and not be intimidated, those are the rewards I am talking about.”
Erhabor said his dream is to see a Nigerian Police Force that is loved and trusted again by the people.
“I pray that I will bequeath a police that is admired, envied and honoured in five year’s time when I retire , I believe in the project called Nigeria,” He stressed.
A veteran crime journalist, Elder Ben Okezie, who spoke on the phone hailed Erhabor’s strides and his long years of outstanding service. Okezie alluded to the fact that good parenting played an important role in the life of the policeman, noting that the fear of God is required to overcome peer pressure on the job.
A police officer who hitherto worked with Erhabor, identified as Francis, said he was attracted to the celebrated police officer due to his enthusiasm on the job as a young officer. He said, “since I met Erhabor, he changed the way I viewed Nigeria and my profession and I have made sure that everything I have done from then on confirms my beliefs and conscience.”
Earlier, the Executive Director of PRIMORG, Okhiria Agbonsuremi, who moderated the meeting said the event was specially designed to raise the issues of accountability and to promote Nigerians standing up against corruption wherever they are.
Also, Prince Chimaraoke Chukwuka of Accountability Lab revealed that the CSO is finalizing on the 2020 Integrity Icon award. According to him, the likes of Francis Erhabor, Yemi Kale and others have changed the popular belief that public servants cannot be upright.