The Nigeria Police on Tuesday redeployed the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Umar Abubakar, and his deputy, Mike Okoli, as part of preparations for Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Mr. Okoli said he and the commissioner were asked to leave the state on Tuesday.
“I’m not in Anambra State right now. The commissioner of police and I were asked to step aside. We were asked to leave on Tuesday, and we left. As I speak, I am in Abuja,” Okoli said in a telephone chat with our reporter.
Pressed further to reveal who was currently in charge of police affairs in the state, Mr. Okoli said he was not in a position to know who was sent to take charge in their absence.
With a record 37 candidates in the epic gubernatorial race, Anambra State elections has been greeted with drama and intrigues, particularly in the area of security.
The incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Willie Obiano, had on Tuesday raised alarm over the withdrawal of his security aides on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ahmed Idris.
The situation generated so much controversy in the wake of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state this week.
After a report about the removal of the governor’s security was presented to the president, he immediately intervened on Wednesday with a directive that the governor’s security details be restored.
A similar intervention by the Senate after a stiff criticism by concerned Nigerians led to the Upper Chamber passing a motion urging the IGP to rescind his decision and restore the security aides of the governor before the elections.
The police deployed 26,000 personnel to Anambra for the election, with the process to be supervised by a deputy inspector general of police.