3-3 police station renovation stalled, DPO operates under mango tree
By Phil Okose, Onitsha
The divisional police officer (DPO) of 3:3 Police Station, Onitsha the commercial nerve centre of Anambra state and other station personnel are still operating from under a mango tree following insufficient funds for the renovation of the facility which was razed during the EndSARS protest in late October, 2020.
Orient Weekend learnt that some structures within the premises where renovation work had commenced have consequently been abandoned following lack of money to pay the contractor on the job. It was equally gathered that the once bubbling police division has become a shadow of itself since the mob attack with police personnel barely operating skeletal services in the meantime.
According to a resident, who simply identified himself as Obi, “the development has affected the combating of crime in the area as cases are now referred to other nearby police formations which is not helping crime fighting in a society known for complex security challenges”.
When this reporter came calling at the station, police personnel were sighted seated under a mango tree inside the premises with the DPO, CSP Bawa Abdu Sale, seated on a plastic chair in front of another smaller mango tree in front of his office.
The DPO had to relocate to the mango tree for shelter where he carries out his daily statutory activities because his office block was entirely burnt down by the mob during the #Endsars protests.
Our correspondent gathered that the plastic chair where the DPO sits to carry out his police duties was actually bought with money from his salary. Though renovation work was going on when our correspondent visited the area, it was at a snail pace.
The police cell which was destroyed by the ravaging mob was also being rebuilt with welding activities going on. The structure housing the DPO’s office was, however, abandoned with no work in sight.
A man who claimed to be a friend of the police but pleaded anonymity said that, “It is a pathetic sight watching the debris of burnt vehicles dumped at the back of the devastated Police Public Relations Committee (PCRC) building which was also razed down by the mob.”
However, the perimeter fence of the premises is receiving a major boost as the wall which shares same boundary with Federal Government Girls’ College, Onitsha, has been raised higher than it was before the unfortunate incident.
When contacted, Sale declined comments but stressing that he and his men were operating under a severe environment.