I wish like others to congratulate you on your new appointment as the new Head, Police Intelligence Response Team IRT. But I won’t! I wish to also celebrate you like a lot of my countrymen are doing. Again I won’t! Yes like some of our compatriots, I also wish I can flaunt selfies of you and me. (though I have none). Only that by now you know I won’t; even if I have.
I have no beef against you dear sir. I only don’t think an onerous call to service as you just received demand such adulation or celebration. I think much more than at any point in time of your life, you need our empathy, if not sympathy. You need our collective sombre wish for success and of course our restrained optimism.
You need more for us to form around you a vanguard of vigilance and not to romanticize your biggest challenge so far in life. You need our tough love! Your job is cut out for you sir! Let me shock you a little with the following facts, sir:
1. You will not outshine your disgraced predecessor. No, you won’t. He has taken the shine of your job! You will need a long time before you can in the least bit appeal to us. Your biggest achievement would most likely not be in the flamboyance of outward show of your efforts. We will see you at the nodes of the taproot of reorganizing your unit and giving it a new image of professionalism and integrity. Unfortunately, that won’t happen in 365 days. You are in for the long haul.
2. You won’t be Nigeria’s next super cop. The other supercop failed us. We don’t need that anymore. We need you, rather, to give us a unit of policemen who gives the force a new face. Faceless officers effecting a revolution. We need in you a ‘philosopher king’ whose philosophy will birth a reformed IRT unit of our ‘fantasy’.
3. I read how qualified you are for the job. I chuckled. For the new office will not answer to your fame. Indeed your fame could be an albatross. More like the real test of your mettle is now.
4. The underworld is ready for you. They know you more than us. Even more than you. And they will test you. They will give you a ‘run for your money. What you were yesterday will matter little. What would you be tomorrow?
5. Your friends are waiting too. Most likely they will be the most difficult to manage. Mark my word!
6. If you take Nigerians who are celebrating you now seriously then you would end up not worthy of the high call.
7. Your new position is just an opportunity to write your name in gold. For it is not yet written. Posterity is waiting. The call is sounding. Would you take the quantum leap to immortality or are you going to end like your predecessors?
In conclusion, sir, let me say I will be waiting to write you a congratulatory message at the end of your assignment. I will come all out to celebrate you then. But between now and then you will have to work smart to deserve both.
Welcome to the hot seat dear sir. See you when it ends…
Kayode Adejumo-Bello is a Professional Biographer and diarist