A 2017 survey by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) identified officers of the Nigeria police force as among the most corrupt public officials in the country, mostly due to bribery.
But amid that distasteful record, one officer stands out among his peers in the force.
Julius Adedeji is said to have never taken a bribe — not because he has never been offered such but because it is “needless” for him.
And for that rare feat, the BBC is celebrating him as Nigeria’s ‘most dedicated police officer’.
In an interview, he told BBC that he was surprised receiving the award because he did not know he was being watched.
“I thank God that it’s recognised and I feel like putting my best more and more,” he 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.”
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’.”
He, however, admitted he has been tempted to take bribes.
“There’s no way one would not once in a while be tempted,” he said, adding: “But I just want to do what is right.”
He also has a word for police officers — and others — who bribe is also a source of living for.
“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,” he said.
Adedeji is a superintendent of police. He is currently serving in the Ekiti state police command.
PRAISES FOR HIM, LAMENTATIONS FOR THE POLICE FORCE’
Reacting to the Adedeji’s feat, some twitter users encouraged him to keep up with the good work.
Some others, however, doubted the possibility of a police officer who doesn’t collect bribe in Nigeria.
Below are some of the reactions:
If #Nigerian#police received decent #salaties regularly, am quite sure he would have company! I lived there- many decent people…
— Jindra Cekan, PhD (@WhatWeValue) May 1, 2018
Which Nigeria police officer has never taken bribe????
A force that bribe taking is both their genus and species characteristics.
— AYANLOLA ABDULJELIL (@owolabitaiwo) May 1, 2018
God will find a way to bless you when you’re doing what is right… That’s the spirit right there
— Oladele Rasheed (@iamRashxo) May 1, 2018
He was my classmate at OAU.he is a good man
— olaniyan olugbenga (@g_rolan) May 1, 2018
God bless you and your alike. I also know one Nigeria Police doesn't collect brive in Kano Rijiyar Zaki and some colleaques even mock at him but with his little Salary is making better life.
— Sabiu H. Adams (@plpt2013) May 1, 2018
That’s quite rare in the Nigeria Police Force! I’m impressed.
— Olusegun Iselaiye (@iotama22) May 1, 2018
He surely deserve the awards Nigeria and Africa need more of his kinds.
— @Bilz (@BilzBah15) May 1, 2018