Ahead of the September 28 gubernatorial election in Edo State, the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state government are locked in war of words over the redeployment of the state Commissioner of Police, Fimihan Adeoye, three weeks after he was transferred to the state.
The State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chris Nehikhare, said Adeoye who replaced Chris Ezike as Commissioner of Police in the state on Tuesday, September 5 and was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the security arrangement for the Edo State governorship election, was removed in “very controversial circumstances.”
According to him, Adeoye “is said to have been removed over his disagreement with the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on the use of police personnel, before and on the day of election.”
He further alleged that the Governor had taken offence that the Commissioner was not in support of the recent indiscriminate arrests and detention of members of the opposition PDP which is said to have been ordered by the Governor as part of the plan to manipulate the election in favour of the ruling APC.
“The Commissioner’s objection to this line of action by the men under his command had drastically reduced the planned onslaught on the members of the PDP, and made the release of those arrested, prompt and relatively easy.
“Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, sources say had proven difficult about deploying Policemen on eve of the election and on the day of election in a manner that would affect the conduct and outcome of the election against the popular will.
“The disposition of the Commissioner is said to have made the Governor uncomfortable. This had made him to appeal to higher quarters from where the order for the removal of Adeoye was given. A replacement has not been made”, Nehikhare claimed.
But in a swift reaction, Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kassim Afegbua, debunked PDP’s allegation.
He said: “We are not Nigeria Police Force, the institution has its own command structure under the supervision of the Inspector General of Police. We couldn’t have played any role in who becomes Commissioner of Police. It is purely Police affairs and please don’t drag us into this.
“Under the PDP regime of oppression, they bastardised the Nigeria Police and turned it into an arm of the PDP oligarchy. Under the APC change agenda, we are not only allowing military and paramilitary institutions to run professionally, we are building a new Police institution that would be responsive to the challenges of modern policing.
“As per the elections, we have nothing to fear because we believe in the sanctity of the ballot box. We are for votes but PDP are for rigging, so only them have cause to fear. We will trounce them silly come Wednesday September 28.
“Any attempt for them to exhibit their peculiar traits will be resisted wholeheartedly. Warn them,” he added.