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Aisha, the Crime Fighter, Gets World Applause

Posted by BY ODITA SUNDAY on 2005/06/05 | Views: 317 |

Aisha, the Crime Fighter, Gets World Applause


For six years, Aisha Tosan, a former crime correspondent with Vanguard, has been the mastermind behind the anti-robbery and security television programme, Crime Fighters.

For six years, Aisha Tosan, a former crime correspondent with Vanguard, has been the mastermind behind the anti-robbery and security television programme, Crime Fighters.

Since inception, the programme has received accolades as one of the most educative and informative programmes on crime and security. It is even touted to the first - deliberate move to showcase the state of criminals and their activities, through first hand interviews with crime suspects in cells; and airing their confessions on television.

For the Lagos Business School graduate and her team, the six-year toil has not gone unnoticed. Among several entries, Crime Fighters was nominated for honour and award in the United States. Aisha, who said she was surprised by the nomination, explained that Crime Fighters was chosen because of the quality exposure it produces on security.

She alongside two of his staff journalists left Nigeria recently for United States of America, they were expected to be taken round the White House, the US seat of power, to experience the workings of government in the US.

The letter of invitation sent to her stated that Aisha and her team would visit the White House, Annapolis or Richmond where she would meet with the Governor of Maryland or Virginia, United Nations office in New York and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She would also discuss topics on transparency in government during the visit.

While disregarding speculations that Crime Fighters is owned by the police, Tosan explains that "it is an independent programme initiated by me. I was spurred by the bad image of the police when I was a journalist on police beat. I take exception to robbers killing people and raping women, and I was not happy about it. I was moved to start the Crime Fighters."

The programme, which gets sponsorship from the corporate organisations, attracts the involvement of police personnel in no small measure, especially in newscasting. For Aisha, the reason for this was to change the belief of the public that policemen are illiterate persons and never-do-wells.

"People should not see Crime Fighters as another department of the Nigeria Police. We only work with them and help them to fight crime."

Aisha, who recently was conferred with a chieftaincy title by her Abraka people of Delta State, said managing crime fighters has been tough and rough, especially with the constant change of Inspector-Generals of Police. "It has not been easy, but as professionals we just have to do our job," she said.

However, she added, "The present IGP, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, supports crime fighters, but he is the type that takes his time. With what happened to his predecessor, he is being careful and he wants to carry his subordinates along."

Speaking on her relationship with the retired Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, Tosan said: "We had a little problem with the former IG when we almost took him to Court for withholding funds meant for Crime Fighters, but for the intervention of Mr. Ehindero - then a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) - we withdrew the law suit against him." Immediately after the withdrawal of suit in December, he was retired in January."

Concerning her new chieftaincy title, the Olo Ovarivie of Abraka Kingdom, Aisha said, "The title was conferred on me by my people, because of my contribution to the progress of the community. It has posed a great duty on me. For every meeting they want to have, they call me. I have to travel from Lagos to Delta more often now. The title has made me more responsible now."

In her capacity as a titled person, Aisha shed some light on the crisis between Obiaruku community and Abraka. "What led to the crisis was just a little misunderstanding between the two communities," she explains. "Abraka and Obiaruku have lived for years in peace. The Abraka people go to Obiaruku market and Obiaruku people come to our market. It's just five minutes drive between Abraka and Obiaruku. There was no reason for the fight, but I am happy Governor James Ibori intervened promptly."

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