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Ebonyi SDP petitions IGP over police refusal to grant security escort to guber candidate

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By Ruth Oginyi

The Ebonyi State chapter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has petitioned the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, over police alleged refusal to approve the request seeking police protection its governorship candidate.

The party also appealed to police authorities to deploy police officers to man the security of its state party secretariat in Abakaliki ahead of the 2019 general elections commencing next month.

In a petition addressed to the IGP and a copy it which was obtained by WARRI TODAY expressed worries over the development, saying that the development portend security for its candidates and supporters.

The petition was signed by the party’s Legal Adviser, Mr Oduma Ugochukwu.

Ugochukwu said that the non-approval of the written request for security orderly has exposed its governorship candidate in the March 2nd, election, Barr Ndubuisi Chibueze-Agbo to security risks in the state.

The petition titled ‘Security Alarm’ noted the party is worried that while Governorship candidates of other political parties are given adequate security, the police have refused to accord SDP candidate the same right thereby exposing him to danger and risks.

It read, “The party wrote application requesting for police orderly for its governorship candidate and police security at its party’s secretariat in Abakaliki on November 5 which was approved by Mr Musa Kimo former Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi but was not acted on.

“Another application was made on December 21 and there is yet no response from the police to date.

“The party in Ebonyi is worried that while candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are given adequate security, the police have refused to accord SDP candidate the same right.”

The party observed that the development has exposed it governorship candidate to danger and high security ahead of the polls.

“This development is worrisome and has exposed our client to danger and risks.

“The party is surprised that the same police that have on many occasions stationed policemen in their numbers to illegally seal the schools of its governorship candidate has claimed they lack man power now that the issue of protection of lives is involved.

“We have observed with dismay that while even quarry sites, event centers, party offices and residential quarters of some ‘favoured’ public and private homes are provided with police security in the state, our candidate and party’s office are denied same.

“This is against the spirit of the meetings and peace accord political parties signed with the police in Ebonyi. It is also against the directives of your office that all contestants and political parties should be given fair and equal police protection nationwide”, the party added.

Contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Lovett Obanuju Odah, said she was not aware of the application by SDP or its governorship candidate for police orderly.

“The IGP released a guideline for applying for police orderly; high profile citizens wishing to have police security must direct applications to IGP through the Commissioner of Police of the state.

“The application will contain reasons such an individual or entity is applying for police security. Police Force is a neutral organization poised to ensure an election without tension in the forthcoming general elections”, Odah said.

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