Love for giving made me pay jss 3 exam fees of 19 indigent pupils – Delta policewoman
A policewoman, Faith Ejoh, serving in Delta State, tells MATTHEW OCHEI why she paid exam fees for 19 JSS 3 pupils of Ezechima Senior Secondary School, Obior
Can you tell us about your family background? I hail from Akwa in Anambra State; I am from a very humble family, a family you can call ‘low family’ but we are okay and contented. I grew up in the North, precisely Niger State. I have BSC in Political Science and HND in Mass Communication.
How about your parents?
unfortunately, I have lost my both parents. I am an ophan.
did you join the nigeria Police
I got the police job in 2016. I trained in jos (Plateau State) for one year before I was first posted to Enugu and later to Delta State. After serving in Asaba, I was posted to a community, ute-ogbeje in the Ika North-east local Government Area of the state where you have Galilee Police Station. I am the Divisional Crime Officer.
Why did you choose police job?
I joined the police because I like jobs that entail the wearing of uniform.
You recently paid exam fees of 19 JSS 3 pupils in the community, what informed that decision?
When I got to that community, I saw that it is a poor community; there is little or no development and they usually have cases of rape, especially defilement. One day, I saw a little girl beside the police station where I am working; I stopped her and asked her why she was not in school; she said she had not paid her school fee and I said I thought education was free in Delta State. I asked her how much the money was and she told me. I told her to go back to school, that I would pay but the girl refused. She told me to come to school with her to pay. So, I followed her to school, went to the principal and paid the fee. She was very happy and I left. But as I was getting to the gate, I saw more pupils who were waiting there. When I asked them what the matter was, their story was the same as the first girl’s. I counted them, they were 18 in number both boys and girls. So, I went back to the principal and told him I wanted to assist all the 18 pupils. The principal said it was not possible, that it would be too expensive for me, but I said I wouldn’t mind because I didn’t want those children to be on the streets. So, I paid for everyone. The principal couldn’t believe it.
You said the payment was since March 2016; why is this celebration is coming now?
When it happened I didn’t leave my contact with them because I didn’t want them to make noise about it. So, all their efforts to reach me were unsuccessful. But they eventually found out that I am a police officer serving in that environment.
The school principal sent the PTA Chairman to come and look for me. They found me and sent their appreciation. When the pupils finished their exams, their parents came together and brought plantain for me in appreciation.
Was that the first time you would do
something like that?
No, that was not the first time. I had done many like that without counting or seeking to be celebrated. In 2016, I did a project in Delta State here, which I called DSLAF, meaning Delta State literary Arts Festival in Asaba. I got about 20 secondary schools, both private and public, as participants. When they came together for competition in arts, literature, quiz and others, it was a good event. Trophies, medals, certificates, books and cash prizes were given to the winners and they were very happy for participating in such an event. That one, I planned and embarked on it. But this particular one was impromptu but very necessary because if the pupils had no one to assist them, that may shatter their lives.
What is your motivation for doing this?
I feel happy each time I have the opportunity to touch lives and I don’t expect anything in return. In fact, I always help people who will not be able to pay me back. I love giving; it is a part of me.
One day on my way to work, I ran into an accident around the Agbor axis. It happened right before me – a bus collided with a car and I parked, the women I saw happened to be a pregnant woman. I rushed her to the hospital at Ubulu-okiti and the first payment I made was N30,000 and I left. later, the doctor called and said the woman was recovering. I went there, I saw her and I called a few friends to help me pay her bill because the total bill was N149,000 and we sorted it out. My happiness today is that she put to bed safely after the accident.
Many people don’t trust policemen. What do you think can be done for the police to gain the trust of nigerians?
My take is that, a police officer was a civilian before becoming an officer. So, in everything I do I always remember that. I don’t forget that I will still return to society. Whatever I do as an officer today, I will later return to society to meet the consequences. In other words, if I do good, I will return to society to meet good; and if I do bad I will also return to society to meet what I planted. So, when we have that at the back of our mind, we will be conscious of how we relate with our fellow beings.
The country is tense now, and I am begging Nigerians to do the little we can to watch each other’s back to ensure peace and security. They should please have trust in the Nigeria Police Force. There is a lot of tension in the land now. Nigeria used to be a sweet country we can get it back if we all support the country in our little ways.