FOUR days to the Anambra State governorship election, the state governor and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the election, Chief Willie Obiano, has raised the alarm over what he termed sudden withdrawal of his security details, saying such action has exposed his life to danger.
Obiano, who stated this in Awka, on Tuesday, during an election stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), described the act as unacceptable and a sign of what would happen ahead of the governorship election.
He demanded the immediate return of the security details in order not to constitute further threats capable of overheating the polity.
“I want my security details returned immediately because I am going to start a fight from there. 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,” he said.
According to the governor, he had wanted to speak with the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who was scheduled to be at the event, but said he had to voice it out since he was not aware of when he would come.
The governor had earlier complained of having not been accorded recognition by the moderator when he arrived for the event.
Reacting, national chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said the event was a stakeholders’ meeting and, as such, no candidate would be accorded any special treatment.
He said the commission insisted on equal treatment of all candidates in the election who should not only have equal standing but must be respected.
The INEC boss said everything had been put in place for credible, free and fair election on Saturday.
He further said distribution of non-sensitive materials would commence tomorrow, while the sensitive materials would arrive the state via Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, also tomorrow.
“I will like to use this opportunity to declare as untrue the earlier claim by some people that sensitive materials for this election were uncovered in a hotel in Awka.
“The sensitive materials will arrive through the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and will be escorted like money to Awka by the Central Bank escort team on Thursday,” he said.
The Inspector-General of Police, Idris Mohammed, who later arrived at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, venue of the meeting, said the withdrawal of the governor’s aides was a normal security process in any election.
He said the withdrawal of the aide-de-camp (ADC) to Governor Obiano was to prevent the recurrence of past experience whereby the military caught an ADC to an unnamed governor escorting a vehicle loaded with arms on Election Day.
“We do not mean anything bad to Anambra governor on this action; his ADC will be returned to him early Sunday morning after the governorship election on Saturday.
“We have equally withdrawn all the policemen attached to political appointees, local government chairmen and others in Anambra till after the election,” he said.
Idris said the police had deployed 26,000 personnel, 300 vehicles, three helicopters and 15 gunboats for the poll.
The deployment of policemen and other security personnel, he said, was not to cause panic, but to give the people the needed protection.
He promised the people of the state adequate security before, during and after the poll.
Meanwhile, the Police Service Commission is to send a team of monitors to Anambra State for the Saturday’s governorship election, as the chairman of the commission, Mike Okiro, warned police personnel to behave themselves or face sanctions if otherwise.
The move by the commission was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday, by its spokesman, Mr Okechukwu Ani.
According to the statement, the 17-man team is made up of six commissioners and 11 senior staff of the commission who are expected to arrive Awka, Anambra State, tomorrow.
It added that the team is expected to ensure that all policemen involved in the election stick to the rules and regulations guiding their conduct.
The statement quoted Okiro as warning that any policeman found wanting in the discharge of his/her duties during the election would be sanctioned.
Head of Civil Service in the state, Mr Harry Udu, has described the level of awareness among workers on the forthcoming governorship election as high.
Udu told newsmen in Awka, on Monday, that workers would fully participate in the election.
He said the two work-free days that the government declared during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) enabled civil servants to register for the election.
Udu said there was no truth in the allegations that the state government was forcing workers to participate in the election.
He said the work-free day declared on Friday, November 17, was to enable workers to relocate to places they would vote on the Election Day.
The post 4 days to Anambra election: My security aides withdrawn —Obiano appeared first on Tribune.