The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have clashed over the posting and redeployment of senior police officers across the country ahead of the general elections starting February 16.
In the exercise approved by the Police Service Commission (PSC), 18 Assistant Inspectors-General Police (AIGs) and 33 Commissioners of Police (CPs) were decorated by the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu yesterday in Abuja.
New commissioners were named for Lagos, Kano, Anambra, Kwara, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Kogi, among others. The CPs in Kaduna, FCT, Borno, Yobe, Rivers, Ogun, Benue, and others retained their positions.
Acting Inspector- General of Police Mohammed Abubakar Adamu (left) is being assisted by former Inspector-General of Police Aliyu Attah to decorate newly promoted Assistant Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Lamorde, former EFCC chairman in Abuja yesterday
The CPs deployed are: Mu’azu Zubairu (Lagos), Ahmed Iliyasu (Ogun), Mohammed Wakili (Kano), Austin Iwero Agbonlahor (Cross River), Damian Chukwu (Borno), Sumonu Abdulmalik (Yobe), Asuquo Amba (Ekiti), Abiodun Ige (Osun), Ibrahim Sabo (Niger), Alkasim Sanusi (Taraba) and Garba M. Mukaddas (Adamawa).
Others are Omololu Bishi (Benue), Bola Longe (Nasarawa), Isaac Akinmoyede (Plateau), Aminu I. Saleh (Bayelsa), Adeleke Yinka (Delta), Bashir Makama (Akwa Ibom), Awosola Awotunde (Ebonyi), Belel Usman (Rivers), Bello Makwashi (Gombe), Abdulrahman Ahmed (Kaduna), Bala Ciroma (FCT), Akeem Busari (Kogi), Galadinchi Dasuki (Imo) and Suleiman Balarabe (Enugu).
The rest are Dandaura Mustafa (Anambra), Etim Ene Okon (Abia), Ibrahim Kaoje (Sokoto), Celestine Okoye (Zamfara), Garba Danjuma (Kebbi), Undie Andie (Ondo), Olukolu Sina (Oyo), Ali Janga (Bauchi), Rabiu Ladodo (Jigawa), Buba Sanusi (Katsina), Egbetokun Kayode (Kwara) and Odumosu Akeem (Edo).
AIGs posted include: Wilson A. Inalegwu (Zone 9, Umuahia), Abdul Dahiru Danwawo (Maritime), Adeyemi O. Ogunjemilusi (Directing Staff NIPPS), Maurice A. Yusuf (Research and Planning), Ibrahim Lamorde (Force Intelligence Bureau), Murtala Mani (FORCE CID), Tijani Baba (Zone 7, Abuja), Dibal Yakadi (Zone 5, Benin), Haruna Huzi Mshelia (Zone 3, Yola).
Others are: Mohammed Mustapha (Zone 10, Sokoto), Musa A. Kimo (Zone 6, Calabar), Adeleye Olusola Oyebade (Zone 11, Osogbo), Basen Dapiya Gwana (Zone 12, Bauchi), Karma Hosea Hassan (Staff College, Jos), Folawiyo David (Training & Development), Zana Ibrahim (Commandant POLAC, Kano), Chris Ezike (Zone 4, Makurdi), and Moses A. Jitiboh (Investment, FHQ).
Daily Trust reports that police redeployments ahead of elections have become routine.
Ahead of the 2011 general elections, all the commissioners of police in the 36 States and Abuja were redeployed on April 1, 2011, barely eight days to the National Assembly election which held on April 9, 2011.
In 2015 also, 16 police commissioners were redeployed on February 3, 2015, ahead of the elections which started on March28, 2015.
PDP: Postings meant to favour APC
The PDP said the redeployment of the police commissioners in the country was a threat to the nation’s democracy, adding that it was done to favour candidates of the APC.
The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said this while speaking through his Special Adviser on Media, Ike Abonyi.
He told Daily Trust that “We warned the APC to stop politicising the security operations, influencing the posting of Police Commissioners and other security personnel.”
He added that the move showed that the APC-led government was desperate and not ready to conduct a free, fair and credible election.
Earlier, the PDP said the new police commissioner for Kwara State Egbetokun is a former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, alleging that he has been handed the instruction to incite the people and pave the way for outright rigging for APC.”
It said Egbetokun was earlier posted to Lagos State by the former IGP, Idris Ibrahim, to serve the same partisan interest but the posting was stopped by the new police boss. “Now, he is being redeployed to Kwara State for the same ignoble plot,” the party said.
Also speaking, Senate President Bukola Saraki told his supporters during a PDP rally in Ilorin south local government area of the state said the APC is scared and “that is why they are busy changing police commissioners every day but that won’t change our peoples resolve to continue to support us.”
He said “If the APC is popular as they claim let them come home and show their strength just like we did. They cannot intimidate our people with police.”
PDP afraid of its shadows – APC
However, the APC has dismissed the allegations that the ruling party was influencing police postings ahead of the elections.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the group which paraded itself as a Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) had made some laughable allegations on some police postings particularly in Kwara State ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
“Ordinarily, the APC wouldn’t respond to a group of charlatans running errands for the embattled Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. However, since the group has issued the statement as a decoy for him, we would direct our reactions directly to their paymaster.
“For the umpteenth time, we would reiterate that the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and indeed other senior party leaders mentioned in the infantile statement are too busy with the Next Level campaigns and engagements to be involved in the childish conspiracies and spurious allegations contained in the statement.
“It should also be noted that it is not within the rights or responsibility of any political organisation or group to dictate to agencies empowered by laws how to deliver on specific mandates.
“We believe that leaders, with a modicum of honour, should not thread on the path of cowardice by hiding under nebulous groups to make unsubstantiated allegations. However, we understand that people’s fears are oftentimes their own weakness.
“It is clear that Senator Saraki, the PDP, and their cronies are recollecting their usual practice of manipulating state institutions to achieve their political ends and are now scared of their own shadows. Let it be known that our party, APC, has not copied such dubious template,” the statement partly read.
Police restate commitment to credible polls
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has restated its commitment to be professional during the upcoming elections in the country.
The acting IGP Mohammed Adamu, while decorating the 18 AIGs and 33 CPs and the event witnessed by former IGPs Solomon Arase and Suleiman Abba, said “I can assure the nation and the international community that we have perfected plans and mobilised assets to give the country peaceful and credible elections.’’
He said that the police force was expected to discharge their mandate within the dictates of the rule of law.
Also reacting, the Head, Press and Public Relations, Police Service Commission, Mr Iyke Ani, said the commission did not get involved into political activities hence the IGP recommended the deployment and the commission approved it.
He said all the persons posted were qualified to man state commands, adding that the IGP is the operational commander and knows how best to use them.