IGP redeploys Imo Police Commissioner ‘for neutrality sake’

With just a few days to the November 11, 2023 off-season governorship polls in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has announced the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Mohammed Barde.

The IGP who spoke during the people’s town hall meeting on election security on Sunday, said, “I am aware that there have been allegations on social media against the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, but for this election, we are changing the commissioner of police in Imo”.

There has been widespread outrage from organised labour, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress. They accused Barde of involvement in the recent attack on NLC President Joe Ajaero in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Organised Labour gave the Federal Government a five-day ultimatum to replace the police commissioner and also placed blame on Governor Hope Uzodimma for the attack on Ajaero. However, the governor denied any involvement in the incident.

The IGP assured that the police had addressed all threats in the three states. He mentioned that they would periodically collect weapons before, during, and after the polls.

Egbetokun emphasised that the police would respond appropriately to vote-buying and electoral offences, following the electoral laws. Those caught engaging in vote-buying would face prosecution, and police allowances would be paid on time.

A subsequent statement from the Force confirmed Barde’s reassignment.

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