Tribute to Mike Iyida, a consummate Police Officer

lydiaThe pain of death, mortal man can hardly overcome. Neither the grace of old age nor the strength of character or maturity could subdue the impact of such a devastating occurrence. Like a thunder bolt, the news of the sudden death of Chief Mike Iyida, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and an Insurance guru, recently, after a brief illness, sent shock waves to the hearts of those who knew him, especially, family members, The Nigeria Police, colleagues, associates, staff, his community, friends and well-wishers spread across the country and beyond.

A brilliant and well-rounded officer and gentleman, the late Iyida, aged 52, hails from Imufu, in Enugu-Ezike, Igbo-Eze North L.G.A. Enugu State. He attended Nsukka High School, Nsukka, Enugu State and later proceeded to Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUTH) where he studied Insurance and graduated in flying colours in the ’90s. While in the Nigeria Police, he acquitted himself creditably in all postings and duties assigned to him by his superiors.

He was at various times Divisional Police Officer in several towns and cities both in the northern and eastern parts of the country, MOPOL Commander, and most notably the head of Insurance Unit of the Nigeria Police at the Police Headquarters in Abuja, a position he held satisfactorily, without blemish, for several years. No wonder, in recognition of his meritorious service to the country, he was recently promoted to the elite rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, after which he was posted out of Abuja to the Force C.I.D, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, as head of General Investigation, until his untimely death.

To those who saw him or had interactions with him only a few days before the sad news broke, it was more like a fiction scripted for the movies. In their consciousness was a man full of life, enjoying a flourishing career in the Police Force and never one whose demise was only a breathe away. But alas, the dreaded morbid news was true and a pall of grief had enveloped the land. Alive today, and tomorrow no more. Certainly, Shakespeare, the wordsmith, was a kindred spirit when he enthused that “Life is but a walking shadow…full of sound and signifying nothing.”

The greatest impact of death is felt not in the agony engendered but rather in it’s finality. With death, life no matter how well lived and progressive or how bad and retrogressive comes to an end.

It is therefore important that we live our lives not for what we can enjoy in it but for what we can leave behind for posterity, knowing that death is a sure banker for all living beings.

The conventional wisdom which posits that the hood does not make the monk find clear vindication in the life and times of the late ACP Iyida. The premise for the foregoing aphorism is anchored in the fact that as human beings, we are defined, not by what we are but by who we are. Therefore, if a man is intrinsically bad, it is immaterial what he is in life whether spiritual or temporal. But if a man is good by nature, it is immaterial what he is in life; his good nature always defined his conduct.

Here was a man who, though a Police officer, was a humanist to the core and who lived his entire life for the good of humanity. Time and space will not be enough to chronicle his imperishable and outstanding record of accomplishments, in his earthly sojourn, having been celebrated as the Nigeria Police “Mr Insurance,” an indefatigable crime buster, a consummate family man, worthy community leader, mentor, a successful businessman with vast interest in hospitality and allied industry, a philanthropist and above all a committed Christian and Knight of the Catholic Church, to mention but a few.

True to his calling as a distinguished Police Officer, he was passionate about the security of lives and properties of all Nigerians in general and his community in particular. In the wake of recent upsurge of criminality in his Enugu-Ezike community, he had blamed the unfortunate development mainly on the paucity of policing in the area. According to him, it was incredulous that a town as big as Enugu-Ezike which was reputed as the single largest homogenous community in West Africa could only boast of just a Police Station, built during the time of the colonial masters, thereby underscoring the need and imperativeness of creating more Police Stations to cater for the security needs of the large population. In this regard, a security summit to be held in the town, and anchored by Ezike Diamond Club Nigeria, was top on his mind before his sudden demise.

Now that he could no longer realise this lofty dream in his life time, we believe that the best legacy to immortalise this great hero is for the Nigeria Police to gracious grant his dream by creating at least two more Police Stations in the town to bring security closer to the people. The community as a unit would readily avail the Police authorities every needful co-operation and assistance towards the actualisation of this project, even within the shortest notice.

As plans are afoot in major towns and cities, particularly, Lagos and Abuja, to accord our fallen hero a befitting burial, which holds from March 31 to April 2, 2016, our hearty condolences go out to his beloved wife and children, his employers, extended family, staff, Imufu village, his teaming dependants and entire Enugu-Ezike people. Be consoled by not just the fact that he lived a fulfilled life but also the assurance of a divine re-union in heaven.
May God grant his gentle soul eternal rest, AMEN.

*Chief Agbedo is Head of Crown Chambers, Barristers and Solicitors, Lagos

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