British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, has honoured a police officer, Julius Adedeji, for standing against bribe since he joined the force.
A 2017 survey by Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS, had identified officers of the Nigeria Police Force as among the most corrupt public officials in the country, especially in bribery. Adedeji is said to have never taken a bribe, not because he has never been offered such but because it is “needless” for him. For that rare feat, the BBC is celebrating him as Nigeria’s ‘most dedicated police officer’.
Adedeji told the BBC in an interview that he was surprised to be nominated for the award because he did not know he was being watched. He said: “I thank God that it’s recognised and I feel like putting my best more and more. 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 which 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 had 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 had been tempted to take bribes, saying: “There’s no way one would not once in a while be tempted; but I just want to do what is right.” Adedeji advised his colleagues whose lifestyles were built around bribe to desist from the practice.
“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.