Politics

2019: 18 parties reject posting of Tinubu’s ex-CSO as Kwara CP

 

By Mumini AbdulKareem

Opposition political parties in Kwara State, yesterday, rose against the deployment of a new Police Commissioner to Kwara State.

The new CP, Kayode Egbedokun is a former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

His posting, less than two weeks to the general elections, has been described by some political parties as an attempt by the Federal Government to undermine the polls in favour of the ruling party.

Details of the approval and deployment are contained in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday by the Commission’s Spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani.

Egbedokun is about the fourth police commissioner to have been deployed to the state in the last six months.

Egbetokun, who had served as Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Tinubu had been announced as Commissioner of Police for Lagos State in the final days of the immediate past Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, but his deployment was stopped at the last minute due to what was considered as high wire politics and criticism of his known relationship with the APC national leader.

The Police Service Commission approved the appointment and deployment of Egbedokun alongside 36 others yesterday following a recommendation by the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

Meanwhile, the coalition of opposition parties addressing newsmen yesterday in Ilorin, queried Egbetokun’s posting to a state where Tinubu is known to have strong interest in securing political dominance.

Kwara State Chairman of the Conference of National Political Parties (CNPP), Alh Adebayo Lawal, said the action indicate a desperation on the part of the APC more so as the incumbent police commissioner was only recently posted to the state.

He added : “Late yesterday, we received credible intelligence that the Federal Government had concluded plans with the police hierarchy to deploy Egbetokun to Kwara, which is in furtherance of their plot to manipulate the forthcoming elections in the state.

“While we do not hold any grudges against the police officer, we reject his planned posting to Kwara based on his loyalty and affiliation to the APC leader, Bola Tinubu, whose interest and intentions in Kwara elections is well known. For those who do not know, Egbetokun served as the Chief Security Officer to Tinubu for years. Recently, he was appointed as Lagos Commissioner of Police but his appointment was rejected by the people and government of Lagos.

“The planned change in the leadership of the Police Command in Kwara few days to the general elections is not only insensitive but also reeks of suspicion and downright desperation on the part of the APC-led Federal Government that is ready to deploy any means to take over power in the State.

“Although, we acknowledge the fact that the police hierarchy has the powers to deploy or redeploy its officers as it deems fit, we, however, believe that the police must take into cognizance certain factors in exercising such powers,especially at this electioneering period in order not to raise doubts in the minds of the public particularly the opposition. Moves such as this cannot guarantee confidence in the police to do an impartial job during the elections.

“We believe that posting Egbetokun to Kwara is part of moves to rig the forthcoming elections in favour of the APC. Our findings reveals that the Federal Government intends to post Egbetokun to Kwara to provide cover for APC agents to divert electoral materials and also to provide shield for APC thugs to unleash violence and disrupt election in areas that are not strongholds of the party.

“It is also instructive to note that the incumbent Kwara Commissioner of Police was recently posted to the State and has been performing his official duties diligently. As far as we know, there is absolutely no basis for his redeployment.

“We therefore, condemn and reject in totality the intended posting of Egbetokun, an ally of Tinubu to Kwara State.  We strongly hold that his posting to Kwara and subsequent involvement in the electoral process portends serious danger to the success of the exercise.

“Already, there are insinuations that Tinubu and the APC are desperate to hijack power from Saraki and annex Kwara to Lagos. Therefore, posting Tinubu’s former security aide to serve as Commissioner of Police in Kwara will further lend credence to the insinuations.

“We hereby appeal to the APC/FG to halt the planned deployment of Egbetokun to Kwara to avoid heating up the polity and heightening the current political tension in the State. We must separate governance from politics.

“We appeal to international agencies, civil societies, leaders of thought, well-meaning Nigerians and the general public to join in condemning the plot by the APC to manipulate electoral process in Kwara. The Federal Government and the APC should allow Kwarans exercise their constitutional right by voting the candidates of their choice in a violent-free environment.

“All political parties participating in the forthcoming elections are stakeholders and our concerns must be well addressed to ensure the success of the exercise.

“We also call on INEC and security agencies to insulate themselves from partisan politics and not to allow themselves be used by the APC-led Federal Government to scuttle the electoral process.”

The Commissioners of Police and the states they are deployed in are: “Buba Sanusi, Katsina State; Mohammed Wakili, Kano State; Rabiu Ladodo, Jigawa State; Ahmed Iliyasu, Ogun State; Mu’azu Zubairu, Lagos State; Ibrahim Sabo, Niger State; Alkassam Sanusi, Taraba State; Garba M. Mukaddas, Adamawa State; Omololu Bishi, Benue State; Bola Longe, Nassarawa State; Isaac Akinmoyede, Plagos, teau State; Odumosu Hakeem, Edo State; Olushola David, Bayelsa State; Adeleke Yinka, Delta State; Austin Iwero Agbonlahor, Cross Rivers State; Bashir Makama, Akwa Ibom State; Awosola Awotunde, Ebonyi State; Belel Usman, Rivers State; Bello Makwashi, Gombe State and Abdulrahman Ahmed, Kaduna State.”

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