- It’s not true, says PPRO
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
With just about two weeks to the December 10 rerun legislative elections in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike, has cried out that the State Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya, has withdrawn majority of his police security details.
But the state police command has swiftly denied the allegation, describing it as untrue.
Flagging off the reconstruction of the Igbo-Etche Road yesterday, Wike said there was a deliberate attempt by the state police command to reduce the number of security personnel attached to him. He however said the security infraction orchestrated to intimidate him would not succeed.
The governor also called on youths in the state to protect their votes and the mandate of the people, despite the planned deployment of security personnel for illegal electoral purposes.
He said: “As I speak to you, the Commissioner of Police has withdrawn the security around me. It is God that will protect me. As a governor, the Commissioner of Police has the effrontery to withdraw my security. There is no limit to this kind of intimidation and impunity.”
He however asserted that despite the action of the Commissioner of Police and the security agencies, nobody in Rivers State would be intimidated by the political antics of the police.
The governor also disclosed that he had intercepted the security manual for the election to be used by Rivers State Police Command.
According to him, the Rivers State Police Command would deploy policemen in a manner that All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in the state would have access to disproportionate number of policemen on Election Day.
He noted that on the average, the police command would attach at least 15 policemen to one APC leader for the purpose of intimidation and theft of electoral materials.
He added that some of the policemen would also be used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to divert election materials to the home of APC leaders for electoral fraud.
He advised the Rivers State Police Commissioner not to allow APC leaders to mislead him into committing electoral fraud. He also warned the police commissioner against indiscriminate arrests being proposed by APC leaders on the premise of frivolous petitions.
But in his reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni (DSP), said no such thing happened.
“There is nothing like that; no such thing ever happened. He is just an alarmist. I am in the office; all of us are in the office. If anything like that happened, we will be aware of it. At least, the CP (Commissioner of Police) would have signed it.”