The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed over 500 mobile police officers to Aba in Abia State to restore peace in the city.
The police spokesman, Moshood Jimoh said that the number of policemen deployed could be higher as the Inspector General of Police is determined to prevent a total breakdown of law and order in the South East.
Earlier, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Operations, Taiwo Lakanu, had said while on a duty tour to Aba, that the mobile policemen had assumed duty immediately and that the whole place is quiet as the policemen are on patrol.
The deployment of police officers to Aba is coming after news of an alleged killing of some residents in Umiahia on Thursday which triggered a reaction in Aba, resulting in the burning of a part of the police station at the Ariaria international market
Former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu believes that the postponement of the Edo governorship election is not a good advertisement for Nigeria at the moment.
The election scheduled to hold on September 10 was shifted to September 28, following the advice of the Police and the Department of State Services on the matter, citing threats of attacks by insurgents that have terrorised the nation’s northeast in the last six years.
Professor Odinkalu said that the claims of the Police and DSS would have been more compelling if it had drawn on existing patterns of operations.
“Boko Haram has not run any operations in Edo state (and) there has been no bombing incident in Edo state since this administration has been in existence.
“Edo state has not been a major theatre of operations of any attacks,” he said.
While commending the progress made by the government and security agencies in the area of safety and security, he emphasized the need to truly earn the trust of Nigerians.
He explained that it would not be out of place for Nigerians to wonder how “an administration which has made progress in addressing safety and security in the most difficult parts of Nigeria in the northeast has got to run scared from elections in Edo state where there has been no recent history of operations by the insurgents”.
He added that the Edo security claim, coming “at a time when the same security agencies are flexing their muscles for citizens doing perfectly lawful things in Abuja, tasks credulity”.
Prof. Odinkalu called on the Inspector-General of Police to pay attention to the negative message that the Edo election postponement would have sent to Nigerians, warning that if he wants to be trusted by the people, he has to do more.
There have been accusations that the ruling All Progressives Congress was behind the postponement of the election and Prof. Odinkalu believes that the suspicion is valid.
The Inspector General (IG) of Police, Idris Ibrahim, says there are credible threats that necessitated the postponement of the Edo State governorship election.
Mr Idris gave the explanation on Friday during a meeting with the Edo State Governor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, at the Edo State Government House in Benin City, the state’s capital.
The election scheduled to hold on September 10 has been shifted to September 28, following the advice of the police and the Department of State Services on the matter, citing threats of attacks by insurgents that have terrorised the nation’s northeast in the last six years.
He promised to ensure that the Edo State election is conducted seamlessly on the new date.
After the police boss told the Governor why he was in Edo State, Governor Oshiomhole called the attention of the IG to some political cases that were yet to be resolved.
After the meeting with the Governor, Mr Idris shed light on the reason for the postponement of the election and the position of the police on election related crimes.
The police will not allow a breakdown of law and order during election, he warned.
Although the new date for the poll has been fixed and countdown started, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not happy with the decision.
Some candidates that will seat for the General Certificate Examination have staged a protest, requesting for the postponement of the election, which they claimed would disenfranchise them, as it was scheduled to hold on the same day they are writing their examination.
After the advice was issued by the security agencies, the PDP described the decision as shocking and a ‘bizarre’.
The PDP, which claims to be the strongest opposition in the state, said it was taken aback on this advice, coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari attended a Mega Rally of the All Progressives Congress in Benin City which was concluded without any hitch.
A statement on September 7 by the party’s spokesman, Day Adeyeye, highlighted that INEC recently conducted a ‘hitch free’ Senatorial By-Election in Borno State which is a high-point of insurgency in the Country and wondered why the Security Agencies saw no reason to call-off the Election.
On Thursday, the PDP Chairman in Edo State, Mr Dan Orbih, warned that the nation’s democracy was being threatened by the decision to shift the election a day after the electoral body had said it would go ahead to hold the election as scheduled.
“The political parties in the state should see this as a challenge.
“We must rescue democracy. It is under serious threat with what we are witnessing today in Edo State,” Mr Orbih stressed.
They have been no report of any bomb attack in Edo State in the last six years that insurgency was at its peak in Nigeria’s northeast, something critics said apparently made the advice appear shocking to the party.
While the PDP is expressing displeasure over the postponement of the election, the APC has raised alarm over what it called an alleged plot by the PDP to unleash violence and cause confusion in the state during the governorship election.
The party, which is holding power in the state, claims that the plan would pave way for the opposition to rig the governorship election scheduled for September 10.
Militants From Delta
A statement by the party said “no less than 500 militants from Delta are being mobilised to critical areas of Edo State to carry out this evil plan using the waterways.
“The primary targets are Edo-North using the River Niger to access areas around Agenebode; Edo-South, via the Osse River; and Edo Central, via Ilushi River”.
Citing internal sources within the PDP, the APC also alleged that the National Youth Service Corps members recruited by the Independent National Electoral Commission to participate in the conduct of the elections were being compromised by the PDP with the lure of huge financial rewards should they agree to act out their script to rig the elections.
National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Chris Iyimoga, has appealed to residents of Abuja to come for their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC), before the deadline of March 8, 2015.
The former Director of FCT Council for Arts and Culture, who spoke after an inspection of some collection centres in the Federal Capital Territory, decried the low turn out of residents to collect the cards.
Some residents of Abuja had condemned the ongoing collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in the Federal Capital Territory for what they called “inadequate awareness and sensitisation of the public”.
Some of the residents said that they got to know about the exercise when they saw people gathering at Polling Units, while a resident complained that he could not find his name on the collection list.
“The information was not well circulated, the awareness was low and I did not hear about it at all. I was on my way to work when I saw a crowd.
“I decided to check out what was happening and discovered a board has been put up with incomplete names,” he said.
However, Dr Iyimoga has stressed that only seventy-one per cent (71%) of the Permanent Voter Cards had been collected.
He urged the residents of the Federal Capital Territory and its environs to go to their Polling Units to collect their Permanent Voter Cards in order to vote the candidates of their choice in the coming general elections.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday, that “Lagos is working” because of the change of attitude and dedication to work in its Public Service.
Governor Fashola made the observation at a Pens-Down ceremony held in Alausa, in honour of the retiring Head of Service, Mrs Josephine Oluseyi Williams.
Governor Fashola expressed joy that the State Public Service had removed the word “impossible” from its vocabulary, emphasising that such resolve underscored the fact that the people could change anything that did not work for them.
“Whenever Lagos residents acknowledged the State’s law enforcement agencies, the fire fighting capacity of its Fire Service or the efficiency of its Public Service delivery, I always reminded them that the personnel of the agencies were not changed “but only changed their attitude and renewed their dedication,” he said.
Fashola maintained that with the right attitude and the appropriate dedication to work, nothing would be impossible for any institution in Nigeria.
“When I meet people outside now and they tell me that the face of the Lagos State Public Service is changing for the better, I take that compliment with a lot of inward pride even though I know that the work is not finished,” the Governor added.
This Cup Would Pass
Fashola also noted that the State’s Public Service has earned the support of the public that it serves, reiterating that earning such support was only half of the journey, as keeping it was the real deal.
He explained further that Lagos did not earn such public support by sloganeering, by pronouncing transformation or by a vision that changed every minute.
Governor Fashola, who entitled his address at the ceremony “This Cup Would Pass”, stressed that Nigeria was being forced to drink from a very bitter cup, adding that the cup would eventually pass.
“Even though we gather to celebrate and honour the Public Service, some of the things that we see now raises several questions and the difference between good and bad is becoming very difficult to tell,” he said.
The outgoing Governor also added that governance was not necessarily about building roads and bridges or about proving jobs but also about very high moral authority.
Advising those who regard the appointment of women into leadership positions as their achievement to look beyond their narrow confines, the Governor stated that “when you look at the Permanent Secretaries in Lagos State, the Magistracy, the leadership of parastatals and the Judiciary, you will see that leadership responsibility for women in Lagos is a way of life.
“So if some people think they are doing women a favour and consider it an achievement, they are living in a different world. Here, it is already a way of life.”
In her response, after signing off her personal file in the Public Service and receiving a Certificate of Service from the Governor, Mrs Williams said her choice of the public service was primarily based on the desire to fulfill a dream of touching lives and making some modest contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria.
Urging public servants to remain focused at all times and in all situations, she reminded them that the decisions they made in the course of service would go a long way in shaping the society.
Candidates contesting for different elective positions on the platform of different political parties in Delta State have signed a peace accord to honour the interest of democracy.
The Delta State peace accord meeting was held on Wednesday in Asaba, the state capital.
The peace accord, which was packaged by the Delta State Police Command to ensure peace before, during and after the general elections, was well attended by top security chiefs in the Police, Army, SSS and other sectors at the state capital.
Speaking at the event, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5, Mr Musa Daura, said that it was important for peaceful elections to be achieved, emphasising that “we must all be in the vanguard for a credible and acceptable electoral process.”
Daura also said that the security has resolved to provide an electoral environment free of intimidation, saying politicians should play the game by the rules bearing in mind that they are sportsmen; he urged all to shun criminal and electoral violence before, during and after the elections.
The governor, who presided over the signing described the shift in dates of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as laudable and in their interest.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Alkali Baba Usman in an address said that they must not agree alone, but equally realize the need to be more democratic in the conduct of political activities within the ambit of the law, with a view to ensuring peace, understanding and respect for one another.
Speaking to journalists after the signing, some candidates mentioned that the reason behind this act was for a free and fair elections, void of violence.
The Police Service Council in Nigeria has confirmed the appointment of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Suleiman Abba.
Mr Abba’s appointment was confirmed on Tuesday during the Police Service Council meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting began after a National Council of State meeting that was also held at the Villa.
At the meeting, Nigeria’s security challenges and how it could be tackled were discussed, with emphasises laid on the need for more funding for security agencies, especially the police.
The council agreed that one per cent of the Federal Allocation accruing to the states should be set aside for the funding of the Nigerian police to equip them for the discharge of their duties, which include the protection of lives and property of Nigerians.
Addressing reporters after the confirmation of his appointment, Mr Abba said he would work hard to ensure that he meets up with the expectations of the office of the Inspector General of Police.
Mr Abba pointed out that Nigerians deserved the best from security agencies in the effort to make Nigeria safe for all and that he would ensure that the resources available would be judiciously managed to carry out his job.
The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola and the Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar on Monday directed the police authority in the state to fish out armed robbers that terrorized some parts of Lagos metropolis on Sunday, killing six people including three policemen and injured several others. The duo spoke in Alausa during the official presentation of 114 security vehicles donated by 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state, also the launching of other security items procured under the auspices of the State Security Trust Fund at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
Mr Fashola said that he knows how the Police officers feel because they were constrained to reduce civilian casualty when they responded to the attacks.
He, however, added that they must do whatever they have to do in not only protecting the state but to find the armed men who attacked the State.
“You must find those men who dared to attack us and it is by bringing those men to justice that your colleagues who died during the attacks would not have died in vain. We have walked this road before and we succeeded. Those who threaten us must be ready to spend better than us and they must be ready to fight harder than us because we will win”, he added.
While urging everyone to remain calm as the State Government is on top of the situation, the Governor gave a commitment to the families and dependents of the officers who lost their lives during the incidents that they will not be forgotten.
He said they will be entitled to insurance package with sizeable insurance compensation that the State Government has already put in place, adding that in whatever way possible the government will provide support to them.
“Our success in reducing crime has brought about many more challenges with many more people relocating to Lagos for security reasons, saying: “yesterday’s success has become history, today’s challenges live with us, it is our responsibility to provide security for tomorrow.
“In security business, there are no margins for errors. We must be right always. We must ensure that it does not happen again. We have to rethink our methods, rethink our strategies and renew our commitment because we are at a period when people who do not work want to live life to the fullest”, Mr Fashola said.
The Inspector General of Police told the State Police Command that it is no more a tea party adding that the command must wake up from its slumber as the robbery incident of Sunday must not repeat itself.
“The story of what happened in Lagos yesterday should not repeat itself. We cannot fold our arms and allow common criminals to terrorise us. They should not terrorise the people anymore.
“We cannot fold our arms when the Governor has provided all that we want in terms of mobility, allowances, support and assistance. I have directed the Assistant Inspector General, Zone 11 and the State Commissioner of Police to meet and re-strategise on the issue. It will not be accepted anymore”, Mr Abubakar said.
Lagos traffic laws
The IG, who also spoke on the observance of traffic law by motorcycle riders in the State, said he had a personal experience on the Lekki -Epe Expressway at midnight on Sunday where he observed motorcycles not obeying traffic lights.
He said he expects motorcyclists irrespective of whether they are commercial or privately owned to obey the law and respect traffic rules, adding that the State Police Commissioner must convene a meeting with the union of motor cycle (Okada) riders in the next one month on why they must obey traffic laws in the State.
He said after the meeting with the union, a week’s grace should be given to the okada riders, after which anyone of them caught, should be arrested and prosecuted in the court of law.
It appears more police officers and even the Federal Road Safety Corps officials (FRSC) have decided to turn deaf ears to the IG’s order on the removal of roadblocks from highways.
No fewer than 38 police and 8 FRSC officers are currently facing trial for defying acting Inspector-General’s (Mohammed Abubakar) directive on the dismantling of roadblocks across the country.
The officers were said to have been apprehended by the committee on anti-corruption which was set up by the Force Headquarters to ensure compliance with the IG’s order in different parts of the country.
The officers who are being detained in various police stations nation-wide, may be dismissed if found guilty of the charge on money extortion through roadblocks.
A breakdown of the arrests shows that four police officers were arrested on the Warri-Sapele Road; six at Anambra-Nkwule Junction, five at 9th Mile, Enugu and four at Abia State.
Also, eight FRSC personnel were arrested in Akwa Ibom State and at East-West Road, Bayelsa State while four police officers were arrested in Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa-Ibom State as another four were picked up at Itokim Bridge.
Three police officers were also arrested at Itowolo Point; four at Owode Onirin, Lagos State and another four at Okene Road, Lokoja, Kogi State.