Less than 96 hours to the governorship election in Anambra State, the resident Commissioner of Police has been re-deployed.

Umar Abubakar was moved on the orders of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris.

Also redeployed are the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of operations, DCP in charge of administration, ACP in charge of administration, state officer in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and security aides to Governor Willie Obiano.

Police spokesman, CP Jimoh Moshood, confirmed the removal of Abubakar and other top officials, describing it as “routine in the police”.

He said: “The Commissioners of Police in charge of commands are asked to step aside in any governorship election. Another CP would be posted. He would return to his office immediately after the election.

"Three Commissioners of Police would be deployed to monitor the three senatorial zones in the state.

“It would not be right to disclose the names of the three Commissioners of Police now. But you would know later.

Governor Obiano has cried foul over the sudden withdrawal of the security officers, saying the move exposes his life to danger.

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"I will start the fight from here. I am the governor. All paraphernalia of office should not be withdrawn. It is not acceptable,” said Obiano, during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Awka on Tuesday.

He described the redeployment as a dangerous signal capable of overheating the polity.

"Reacting to Obiano’s disapproval, Idris who later arrived at the meeting, explained that the police only withdrew his aide-de-camp, promising that the officer would return to his post after the election.

He disclosed that given past experiences, police details attached to politicians would now be withdrawn during elections to stem unwholesome activities.

"These police officers were engaged in activities other than what they were deployed to do. We will not encourage further acts of misdeed,” he said.

The IGP spoke further: "The police command deployed 603 patrol vehicles; three helicopters for monitoring in each of the three senatorial zones, for movement of INEC officials and other personnel; armoured personnel carriers; and 15 gunboats to take care of the waterways.

"The Nigerian Navy has donated additional two boats for adequate supervision by our men during the election.

"We have deployed three commissioners of police to be in charge of operations. In each senatorial district we have a director of operations. If there are issues, call the attention of these officers. All the officers posted to Anambra State are new to the environment.

"The idea is to ensure that police participated in this election. The police will conduct stop and search operations, conduct raids at black spots etc., to ensure that hoodlums do not cause havoc during the process.”

Idris added that the operation commanders would also swap places with DPOs to ensure that no officer was accused of misdemeanor.

He insisted that all top police officers in Anambra would be replaced temporarily.

He urged the people of the state not to be intimidated by the large number of policemen deployed, saying the action was intended to protect lives and property.

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