The Nigeria police have denied withdrawing security aides attached to the governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano, saying the 221 police operatives attached to him were intact.
Mr. Obiano on Tuesday during election meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, raised an alarm that the police had withdrawn his security aides, ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
“I want my security details returned immediately because I am going to start a fight from there,” TheCable newspaper quoted the governor as saying during the meeting.
“I am the 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,” Mr. Obiano said.
The Senate quickly responded by condemning the police and asking the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to direct that the governor’s security aides be restored.
President Muhammadu Buhari also directed that the governor’s security aides be restored immediately.
But the police on Thursday dismissed the issue as a “distortion of facts”.
“The true position of the matter is that the Aide-De-Camp or any other Police Officer attached to His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, Governor of Anambra State was not withdrawn,” the Force spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, said in a statement.
“On Tuesday, 14th November, 2017, the ADC and CSO to the Governor were called to the Police Command Headquarters in Awka to attend IGP’s lecture with all other Police Personnel deployed for the Election, which was also attended by the Heads of other Security and Safety Agencies participating in the security arrangement for the election under the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in the State. The ADC and CSO returned a few hours later after the lecture, same date, to their duty posts in Government House, Awka, Anambra State.”
Mr. Moshood said the police in Anambra State issued a statement earlier to clarify what happened, but that it became necessary for the force headquarters to speak up on the issue so as to emphasise that the governor’s security aides were not withdrawn.
The police spokesperson said 221 police officers, including the ADC and the CSO, were attached to Governor Obiano for his protection, and that those officers were intact.
“Obviously, the total number of Two Hundred and Twenty One (221) Police Personnel attached to His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, Governor of Anambra State is more than the strength of some Police Area Commands in some states of the country,” the police spokesperson said.
He added, “This is done to ensure optimum safety and protection of the Executive Governor of Anambra State.”
He asked the public to disregard the report that the governor’s security aides have been withdrawn.
Mr. Obiano’s reaction could not be immediately sought at the time of filing report.
Mr. Obiano is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. He is running for a second term.