The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has ordered the immediate redeployment of the Imo State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mohammed Barde, to the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, announced this on Sunday.
This comes just six days to the governorship election on November 11 amid allegations of highhandedness and bias levelled against the Imo CP.
The statement said the IGP’s decision to redeploy the Imo CP underscored the police force’s dedication to upholding the rule of law and maintaining strict neutrality throughout the electoral proceedings.
Adejobi said, “This redeployment is not an indictment on the affected officer but is rather part of a broader strategy aimed at bolstering security measures, promoting transparency, and upholding the integrity of the electoral security management.
“The IGP is resolute in ensuring that a secure environment is provided for all stakeholders, political parties, candidates, and citizens to participate in the electoral process. He urges all and sundry to cooperate with the Police and other security agencies and adhere to the law in order to ensure a smooth and successful election while maintaining the principles of democracy.”
Egbetokun had, on Sunday evening, promised to redeploy Barde after the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, the Labour Party, and civil society organisations, called for his redeployment.
Egbetokun made the development known on Sunday night during a Channels Television programme themed “Peoples Town Hall On Election Security”.
He said, “We are aware that there are allegations against the Commissioner of Police in Imo. Before the elections, we’re changing the CP. This is not to say the CP has been found guilty. But for neutrality sake, we are changing the Commissioner of Police in Imo State.”
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, was on November 1 attacked by persons allegedly linked to the governor who had police protection.
Ajaero was attacked and brutalised while mobilising workers for a protest over their unpaid salaries.