Days to the November 11, 2023 off-season governorship polls in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has announced the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Mohammed Barde.
“I am aware that there have been allegations on social media against the Commissioner of Police in Imo State but for this election, we are changing the commissioner of police in Imo,” the IGP said yesterday on Channels Television.
There had been widespread outrage by the Organised Labour including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress accusing Barde of complicity in the recent attack on NLC President, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, last week.
The Organised Labour had also handed the federal government a five-day ultimatum to replace the police commissioner, while also blaming Governor Hope Uzodimma who is seeking re-election of the attack on Ajaero though the governor had since said he had no hand in the attack on the labour leader.
The IGP also said the police have taken care of all the threats in the three states.
According to him, mopping up of arms will be periodical, before, during and after the polls.
Egbetokun said the police will respond appropriately to vote buying and all electoral offences with respect to the provisions of the electoral laws. Anybody found engaging in vote buying will be prosecuted appropriately, he said, adding that the allowances of policemen will be paid as and when due.
The Force statement later issued a statement saying that Barde has been redeployed.
Read full statement:
GUBER ELECTION: IGP REDEPLOYS CP IMO.
In a pivotal development ahead of the upcoming gubernatorial election in Imo state on 11th November, 2023, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, has ordered the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Mohammed Barde to the Force Headquarters on special duty.
The IGP’s decision to reshuffle the CP underscores the Police Force’s unwavering dedication to upholding the rule of law and maintaining strict neutrality throughout the electoral proceedings. This redeployment is not an indictment on the affected officer but is rather part of a broader strategy aimed at bolstering security measures, promoting transparency, and upholding the integrity of the electoral security management.
The IGP is resolute in ensuring that a secure environment is provided for all stakeholders, political parties, candidates, and citizens to participate in the electoral process. He urges all and sundry to cooperate with the Police and other security agencies and adhere to the law in order to ensure a smooth and successful election while maintaining the principles of democracy.
ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, mnipr, mipra, FCAI,
Force Public Relations Officer,
5th November 2023