UPDATED: I haven’t received official information on my reported transfer – Akwa Ibom police commissioner

Ibrahim Idris
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, John Abang, has reacted to the information being circulated on the social media that he has been transferred out of the state following the violent protest on Monday at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

Angry youth, who are supporters of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), stormed the assembly complex, Uyo, Monday morning, protesting the sacking of a lawmaker, Idongesit Ituen.

Mr Ituen, who represented the Itu State Constituency, was sacked by a federal high court for defecting from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

The House had its sitting as scheduled on Monday, despite the protest. The Speaker, Onofiok Luke, then declared vacant, the seats of four more lawmakers who had also defected from PDP to APC.

The sacked lawmakers, five of them, later held their own sitting where they ‘removed’ the speaker, Mr Luke, and ‘elected’ one of them, Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim State Constituency) as the “new speaker.”

Both the PDP and the APC accused the commissioner of police of taking sides in the conflict.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the police chief, Tuesday afternoon, he acknowledged reading reports on social media about his alleged transfer from Akwa Ibom.

“I actually read it on the social media,” Mr Abang said. “I don’t take instruction from social media.”

“I am yet to receive signal from the headquarters. If it is true, when I get directive from Abuja, I will let you know.”

The police spokesperson in Akwa Ibom, Odiko MacDon, was yet to respond to calls and text message from PREMIUM TIMES at the time of filing this report.

On the allegation he took a side in the crisis at the state assembly, the police commissioner said politicians in the state should let the police do their work.

“Postings and transfers in the Nigerian police force are routine, I am not privileged to the information they are talking about. What I know is before I came to Akwa Ibom I was somewhere. And where I am going to tomorrow, by God’s grace, I will not remain there, I will still go somewhere,” he said.

Mr Abang was posted to Akwa Ibom as the 24th commissioner of police in the state about three weeks ago.

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