Despite the poor image the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) gave to the Nigeria Police, there are still scores of other operatives who are portraying the police in good light.
One of such operatives is Catherine Ugorji, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
She has been selected by the UN as one of two runners-up for the prestigious UN Woman Police Officer of the Year award for 2020.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, says Ugorji exemplifies the best of UN policing in words and action.
Ugorji joined the Nigerian Police in 2003 and served as Criminal Investigator from the local to the regional level, Child Protection Officer, Divisional Crime Officer up to Acting Deputy Commander of the Ogudu Police Division in Lagos.
The UN says 1,300 UN policewomen were deployed to its peacekeeping operations and out of which twenty-one were nominated for the award.
The award will be presented during a virtual ceremony presided over by Lacroix on Tuesday, November 3.
UN Police Advisor, Luis Carrilho, has congratulated Ugorji for being chosen as a runner-up and described her leadership of “three Formed Police Units (FPU) in Gao” as remarkable.
“Catherine has introduced tactical operations that have been instrumental in reducing crime in the area, in support of the Malian security forces and the host population.
“In addition to this very demanding role, Chief Superintendent Ugorji has worked diligently to improve living conditions for women police officers so they can serve safely and with dignity”, Carrilho said.
Ugorji was commended for her work to extend the outreach of the FPU to the Ansongo area, “close to the Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso border area, where terrorists and spoilers of the Malian peace agreement are increasing their influence.”
The statement also said that her support for the joint operations with the Malian police, gendarmerie and National Guard have helped to ensure the security of the local population.