The Senate Wednesday mandated the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to immediately restore the security aides attached to the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano.
It also directed the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim, to monitor the compliance and report back to the upper legislative chamber on Thursday.
The resolutions were sequel to a Point of Order moved by Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Biodun Olujimi during plenary.
Justifying the decision during election stakeholders’ forum organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday in Awka, IGP Idris said the withdrawal was to prevent the re-occurrence of past elections during which the military caught an ADC to an unnamed governor escorting a vehicle loaded with arms on election day.
But Olujimi described the act as unacceptable and unfair.
This, she lamented, would expose political office holders, insisting that the IG is setting a bad precedent ahead of the 2019 general elections.
According to her, the implication of the police chief’s defence is that President Muhammadu Buhari; Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker, House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and other political leaders who may seek re-election in the 2019 general elections, could have their security aides withdrawn.
“The IG is looking for everything in the book to substantiate the fact that he withdrew security aides from a sitting governor, to provide a level-playing field. This is unbecoming and it’s a very bad thing for our democracy. As a sitting governor, every governor, regardless of their political parties, are entitled to security and as chief security officers, they are also entitled to security. It is unimaginable that the IGP will say because he wants to provide a level-playing field, he will now withdraw the ADC of the governor so that he goes without his retinue of aides.
“2019 is very close by. We are approaching elections. And this is an ominous sign of what is to come after now. It means that in 2019, most people, including the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the nation, will lose all their aides. Everybody will be open to the vagaries of whatever can happen to them. And it calls to fact that somebody is not in charge. The IGP has messed it up right now”.
However, in his contribution, Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, absolved President Buhari on the issue.
Lawan pointed out that similar actions had been taken in previous administrations, stressing that this is the first time this has happened in this government.
His words: “President Buhari on so many occasions, said no security official should be used for election to the advantage of the party he belongs to. If this happened, that is an entirely a police matter”.
The IG had reportedly told the governor at the stakeholders’ forum that his aides would be restored on Sunday morning, a day after the November 18 governorship election.