A contingent Nigeria police officers on a foreign mission in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) received lots of accolades as its members were honoured for exemplary service.
The 159 officers and men who were part of the AMISOM’s Formed Police Unit (FPU), were awarded medals and certificates at a colourful ceremony presided over by Maj. Gen. Fidza Dludlu, the AMISOM head of mission support on January 5.
The event which held in Mogadishu, was also witnessed by AMISOM Police Chief of Staff, Rex Dundun; the force engineer, Col. Olugbemi Adeboye Obasanjo, and other senior officials.
Gen. Dludlu described the officers as true ambassadors of Nigeria and the African Union, stating that the contingent excelled in its role of providing operational support to the Somali Police Force (SPF).
“AMISOM is pleased to note that while performing these duties, the members of this unit have been exemplary, diligent, committed and dedicated in their selfless service to humanity and attainment of peace and security in Somalia,” Gen Dludlu said.
He observed that the contingent accomplished its duties in total compliance and adherence to the core values of the African Union, which included respect for diversity and teamwork, integrity and impartiality and efficiency and professionalism, among others.
Dludlu’s remarks were echoed by Dundun, who noted that the officers had performed well in their duties, such as conducting patrols, protecting and securing communities, supporting the SPF in public order management and performing guard and escort duties.
“They exhibited some exceptional duties, which included execution of cordon-and-search operations here in Somalia, leading to several arrests of suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists, in conjunction with other security agencies,” Dundun said of the officers, who concluded their one-year tour of duty.
The Nigerian contingent, he added, was among the first FPUs to not only deploy 160 personnel, in line with a recent decision by AU’s Peace Support Operations Division but also operated outside Mogadishu, particularly HirShabelle State.
The officers described their tour of duty in Somalia as fulfilling, adding that they were honoured to have played a role in restoring peace and security in the African continent.
“I give all the glory to God because when I first landed here on January 8, 2018, I never knew that I would receive this award. I feel blessed,” Inspector Adelaja Oluwadamilare said.
Her colleague, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Alao Aderanti, was equally happy.
“I feel honoured that I was one of the officers awarded today. I give all the glory to God for finding me worthy to be one of the recipients, and I equally thank the African Union and the Head of Mission for acknowledging our contribution to peace in Somalia,” said DSP Aderanti.
The out-gone Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, then in his goodwill message to the contingent on their trip to Somalia, had charged them to bring pride too, not only to the police but to Nigerians in general. He was quoted as saying: “Nigeria Police have always excelled in their foreign mission. I know we are exemplary. I charge you to be good ambassadors to the country.”