A UK-based Nigerian, Mr. Victor Olisa, has been appointed first black commander for the Bexley local council in London.
Olisa, a Chief Superintendent with the London Metropolitan Police, whose grandfather was a police officer in Nigeria, said his focus was on the job rather than on being the ‘first black’ to hold the position.
He pointed out that his ethnicity never affected the way he carried out his duties.
“Policing runs in the family and I have always wanted to be a police officer and ethnicity does not affect that” Olisa told reporters in London, in his reaction on the appointment.
“I consider myself first and foremost a police officer. If (being black) is an advantage, then brilliant; If it’s a disadvantage, I will have to deal with that, I can’t hide it.”
Olisa said a lot was being done to address racism within the force, adding that it was the responsibility of the force to correct wrongs and not an institution for people with racist views.
“I am impeccably against anyone who uses racist language or behaves in a racist manner. This will not be allowed under my watch…I believe that everyone should be treated with dignity wherever they come from,” Olisa said.
Olisa, 52, was born in Warri, Delta State, Southern Nigeria.
He is one of the three chief superintendents from black minority ethnic background working for the Metropolitan Police.
He started his career in Surrey Police in 1982 before transferring to the City of London Police in 1990 as a detective inspector in the fraud squad.
After a spell at the Home Office, he transferred to the Metropolitan police in 2006 as a superintendent in Southwark Council before his recent appointment.