In a significant shake-up, Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has announced the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Mohammed Barde.
This decision, which comes just six days before the November 11, 2023 off-season polls in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states, was made known during Egbetokun’s appearance on Channels TV’s Peoples Townhall on Sunday night.
Egbetokun addressed the reason behind the sudden change, stating,
“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.”he said.
According to him, the decision to replace the Imo police commissioner is driven by a need to ensure impartiality in the upcoming elections, not because he was found guilty of any charges brought against him.
Recall that the Labour Party (LP) had previously supported demands for the CP and other officials allegedly involved in the recent attack on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in the state to be immediately redeployed.
Egbetokun revealed that the Police have also completed a probe into electoral violations during the 2023 elections and forwarded their findings to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which holds the power to prosecute.
He also announced plans to deploy more gunboats and boats for the Bayelsa and Kogi polls, emphasizing that no VIPs would be allowed to move around with police escorts on election day. He states that violators of this directive would face immediate arrest.
Egbetokun also issued a stern warning to criminals, cautioning them to stay away from the Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa elections. He assured that it would not be “business as usual,” signaling a strong commitment to maintaining security and order during the upcoming polls.