IGP Succumbs to NLC, TUC Demands, Redeploys Imo CP Mohammed Barde, Reaffirms Neutrality


In a pivotal development ahead of the upcoming gubernatorial election in Imo state on 11th November, 2023, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, has ordered the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Mohammed Barde to the Force Headquarters on special duty.

It would be recalled that the organised labour unions, comprising the Trade Union Congress, TUC, and the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, declared a nationwide strike over the attack on its NLC President, Joe Ajaeroa and issued a 6-pount demand to the Federal Government, including the immediate removal of the Imo State Commissioner of Police and the Area Commander, among other police officers, for their alleged involvement in the brutalisation and humiliation of Ajaero and other workers. 

It would also be recall that on 3rd of May, 2023 the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) and 21 other civil society organisations across Nigeria had petitioned the chairman of the Police Service Commission demanding the investigation and redeployment of Imo State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Barde, over his partisanship in the state.

The civil society organisations in the petition noted that their demand for Barde to be investigated and redeployed from the state was sequel to President Muhammadu Buhari's directive to the Inspector General of Police, Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), to investigate the role of their officers in aiding and abetting the conduct/actions of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, during the Adamawa governorship election.

Meanwhile in a press statement on Sunday, 5th November 2023, signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the IGP's decision to reshuffle the CP underscores the Police Force's unwavering dedication to upholding the rule of law and maintaining strict neutrality throughout the electoral proceedings.

He noted that this redeployment is not an indictment on the affected officer but is rather part of a broader strategy aimed at bolstering security measures, promoting transparency, and upholding the integrity of the electoral security management. 

"The IGP is resolute in ensuring that a secure environment is provided for all stakeholders, political parties, candidates, and citizens to participate in the electoral process. 

"The IGP urged all and sundry to cooperate with the Police and other security agencies and adhere to the law in order to ensure a smooth and successful election while maintaining the principles of democracy."he stated

Mohammed Barde, who hails from Niger State assumed office as the new Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command on 22 April 2023 as at a time when criminal activities had resurfaced in the state.

He took over from Rabiu Hussaini, who had in March, 2022 proceeded on retirement.

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