IGP re­de­ploys Obiano’s po­lice aide, Anam­bra CP, oth­ers

• Gov­er­nor al­leges threat to life

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - FRONT PAGE - From Odita Sun­day (La­gos) and Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka)

ANAM­BRA Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Umar Abubakar has been re­de­ployed, less than a week to its gov­er­nor­ship elec- tion.

Also reshuf­fled were the Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice (DCP) in charge of oper­a­tions, DCP in charge of ad­min­is­tra­tion, ACP in charge of ad­min­is­tra­tion, state of­fi­cer in charge of the Spe­cial Anti-rob­bery Squad (SARS) and aides to Gov­er­nor Wil­lie Obiano.

Three Com­mis­sion­ers have con­se­quently been de­ployed by the In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice (IGP), Ibrahim Idris.

Obiano has, how­ever, cried foul over the sud­den with­drawal of the se­cu­rity of­fi­cers, say­ing the move ex­posed his life to dan­ger.

“I will start the fight from here. I am the gov­er­nor. All para­pher­na­lia of of­fice should not be with­drawn. It is not ac­cept­able,” said Obiano, dur­ing a stake­hold­ers’ meet­ing or­gan­ised by the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) in Awka yes­ter­day.

He de­scribed the re­de­ploy­ment as a dan­ger­ous sig­nal ca­pa­ble of over­heat­ing the polity and de­manded the im­me­di­ate re­turn of the per­son­nel, warn­ing that the ac­tors be­hind the re­jig would be dis­ap­pointed.

Po­lice spokesman, Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ji­moh Mos­hood, con­firmed the re­moval of Abubakar and other top of­fi­cials, de­scrib­ing it as “rou­tine in the po­lice”.

He said: “The Com­mis­sion­ers of Po­lice in charge of com­mands are asked to step aside in any gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion. An­other CP would be posted. He would re­turn to his of­fice im­me­di­ately af­ter the elec­tion. Three Com­mis­sion­ers of Po­lice would be de­ployed to mon­i­tor the three se­na­to­rial zones in the state.

“It would not be right to dis­close the names of the three Com­mis­sion­ers of Po­lice now. But you would know later.”

Re­act­ing to Obiano’s dis­ap­proval, Idris who later ar­rived at the meet­ing, ex­plained that the po­lice only with­drew his aide-de-camp, promis­ing that the of­fi­cer would re­turn to his post af­ter the elec­tion.

He dis­closed that given past ex­pe­ri­ences, po­lice de­tails at­tached to politi­cians would now be with­drawn dur­ing elec­tions to stem un­whole­some ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Th­ese po­lice of­fi­cers were en­gaged in ac­tiv­i­ties other than what they were de­ployed to do. We will not en­cour­age fur­ther acts of mis­deed,” he said.

The IGP spoke fur­ther: “The po­lice com­mand de­ployed 603 pa­trol ve­hi­cles; three heli­copters for mon­i­tor­ing in each of the three se­na­to­rial zones, for move­ment of INEC of­fi­cials and other per­son­nel; ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers; and 15 gun­boats to take care of the wa­ter­ways. The Nige­rian Na vy has do­nated ad­di­tional two boats for ad­e­quate su­per­vi­sion by our men dur­ing the elec­tion.

“We have de­ployed three com­mis­sion­ers of po­lice to be in charge of oper­a­tions. In each se­na­to­rial dis­trict we have a di­rec­tor of oper­a­tions. If there are is­sues, call the at­ten­tion of th­ese of­fi­cers. All the of­fi­cers posted to Anam­bra State are new to the en vi­ron­ment.

“The idea is to en­sure that po­lice par­tic­i­pated in this elec­tion. The po­lice will con­duct stop and search oper­a­tions, con­duct raids at black spots etc., to en- sure that hood­lums do not cause havoc dur­ing the process.” Idris added that the op­er­a­tion com­man­ders would also swop places with DPOS to en­sure that no of­fi­cer was ac­cused of mis­de­meanor. He in­sisted that all top po­lice of­fi­cers in Anam­bra would be re­placed tem­po­rar­ily.

He urged the peo­ple of the state not to be in­tim­i­dated by the large num­ber of po­lice­men de­ployed, say­ing the ac­tion was in­tended to pro­tect lives and prop­erty.

Mean­while, INEC chair­man, Prof. Mah­mood Yakubu, has stressed that the com­mis­sion would give equal treat­ment to all can­di­dates in the elec­tion.

He de­nied ru­mours that sen­si­tive elec­toral ma­te­ri­als were not in safe cus­tody. “The ma­te­ri­als are on their way to Anam­bra. They will be dis­trib­uted ac­cord­ingly. The ma­te­ri­als are se­cure,” he said.

Yakubu, who re­it­er­ated that the elec­tion would not be post­poned, called on Anam­bra cit­i­zens to come out en mass and vote for their pre­ferred can­di­dates.

“Novem­ber 18, 2017 is sacro­sanct. INEC had done all that is ex­pected of it to do, to in­sure the con­duct of a hitch-free elec­tion in Anam­bra State,” he added.

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