Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano yesterday raised the alarm that his life was in danger following the sudden withdrawal of his security details by the police.
Obiano who stormed out of the election stakeholders meeting at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Development Centre, Awka after raising the alarm had waited for hours before the arrival of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The governor said the development was unacceptable and a dangerous signal of what would happen ahead of the governorship election and demanded the immediate return of his security details to avoid overheating of the polity.
He said: “I want my security details returned immediately because I am going to start a fight from there. I am the sitting governor of Anambra state and all the paraphernalia of my office must be there.
“This is unacceptable and a sign of what will happen. Those behind this would be disappointed because we are very ready for the election.
“My life is in danger; this morning they withdrew my senior police aides, that is what I am saying and it is unacceptable. We will fight this we are not going to allow that to go. I don’t need any replacement, I want to work with the people I have worked with.”
The governor had earlier complained of not being accorded recognition by the moderator of the event when he walked in and said he had wanted to speak with the Inspector General of police who was scheduled to be at the meeting but had to voice out as the IG was not around and he was not aware when he would arrive.
Reacting to the governor’s outburst, the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the event was a stakeholders’ meeting, and as such no candidate would be accorded any special treatment regardless of his position.
He said the commission insists on equal treatment of all candidates in the election and should not only have equal standing, but must be respected.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who eventually arrived the meeting when almost all the candidates and majority of the stakeholders had left, explained that the withdrawal of the governor’s ADC and policemen attached to politicians was a routine exercise the Police carries out during elections and was not in any way done to witch hunt the governor.
The IG said he decided to withdraw the policemen attached to politicians because of previous experiences where such cops worked for their masters to truncate the electoral process.
He said the police have deployed 21, 000 officers that would complement the 5,000 in the state, 303 patrol vehicles, three helicopters, one for each of the three zones, 15 gunboats , Armored personnel carrier, Deputy Inspector General, Operations; two AIGs, three Commissioners of Police and some Deputy and Assistant Commissioners for the election.
IG Idris also disclosed that Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Garba Umar, had been asked to step down for neutrality and another officer who has no affinity with the state would take his place.
Earlier on, the INEC Chairman said that the election was unique because it would be the first in the history of Nigeria where a large number of candidates, 37 of them would be contesting for one governorship position, just as it would be the first governorship election that would be combined with election for state House of Assembly where eight political parties would be contesting.
Source: The Sun