The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has accused the state Commissioner of Police (CP) of withdrawing policemen attached to him for inexplicable reasons.
The alleged withdrawal of the policemen has added a new twist to the seeming frosty relationship between Wike and the CP, Francis Odesanya.
Wike, while flagging off the reconstruction of the Igbo-Etche Road yesterday, said the seeming deliberate security infraction was been orchestrated to intimidate him ahead of the December 10 re-run national and state legislative supplementary elections.
Wike said the CP for no reason withdrew majority of policemen providing security for him, and perceiving it as part of a plot to ruffle him, the governor 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He added: “As I speak with you, the CP has withdrawn the security around me. It is God that will protect me. As governor, the CP has the effrontery to withdraw my security. There is no limit to this kind of intimidation and impunity.”
Wike explained that despite the assault by the CP and the security agencies, nobody in Rivers State would be intimidated by what he term the political antics of the Police.
He said he had intercepted the security manual for the election to be used by the state Police Command, alleging that the command would deploy policemen in manner that 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, while some of the policemen would also be used by INEC to divert election materials to the home of APC leaders for electoral fraud.
The governor advised the CP not to allow APC leaders to mislead him into committing electoral fraud, warning against indiscriminate arrests being proposed by APC leaders on the premise of frivolous petitions.
Repeated calls to the CP were not answered, but the Command spokesperson, Nnamdi Omoni, said he was not aware of the withdrawal of policemen attached to the governor.
The state Chairman of APC, Davies Ikanya, advised the governor not to create crisis in the state by embarking on flag-off for roads awarded by the federal government through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), for which work is presently ongoing.