The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris Tuesday said he ordered the withdrawal of Governor Willie Obiano’s security detail so that it can be fair game for all aspirants in Saturday’s Anambra State governorship election.
The IGP, who said Obiano’s aide would be restored on Sunday, a day after the election, made the clarification after Obiano protested the sudden removal of his detail.
Idris added that all police detail attached to officials and personnel in the state were withdrawn to prevent their use by officials to rig or influence the outcome of the poll.
Idris spoke in Awka during an election stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and presided over by the chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
The Inspector General also announced the removal of the Anambra state police commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar, saying that the move was to ensure fairness in the election, as he has been replaced with three police commissioners who will each man the three senatorial zones in the state to ensure effective supervision.
“Most of the men we are bringing here do not know anyone here, so that they will not be accused of bias. We will have a very successful election here, and I thank Anambra people for their conduct so far. We will give you security until after the election,” he said.
In reacting to possible threat posed to the life of the governor by the withdrawal of his security, the IG said it was only the aide de camp (ADC) to the governor that was withdrawn, and that it had been the norm in the conduct of elections.
Idris added that the withdrawal was based on the previous experience whereby the military caught an ADC to an unnamed governor escorting a vehicle loaded with arms on Election Day.
“We do not mean anything bad to Anambra governor with this action; his ADC will be returned to him early Sunday morning after the governorship election on Saturday Nov.18. We have equally withdrawn all the policemen attached to political appointees, Local Government Chairmen and others in Anambra till after the election,” he said, adding that police force had deployed 26, 000 personnel, 300 vehicles, three helicopters and 15 gunboats for the vote.