C’River party chairmen ask IGP for new police commissioner

Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has raised an alarm alleging that party chairmen in Cross River State are under threats after calling for the redeployment of the state’s Commissioner of Police, Sule Balarabe and his deputy in charge of operations.

The state’s chairman of IPAC, Anthony Bissong Attah, who also doubles as chairman of Young People Progressives, YPP, in his address to journalists today said: “We will like to put it on record that since two weeks ago, after calling for the redeployment of the CP and especially the DCP Operations, Francis Idu, political party chairmen have been under serious threat of attack as strange calls and movements of strange individuals have been noticed by many of our chairmen.”

Continuing, he stated: “With the current state of insecurity in the state where a serving Commissioner for Women Affairs, Prof Gertrude Njar was kidnapped for about a week now, and a former minister and governorship candidate of PRP, Usani Usani escaped assassination by armed men two days ago,

we have elected not to work with the current leadership of Cross Rivers State Police Command because we don’t know what they plan to do in the coming elections.”

IPAC had passed a vote of no confidence on the CP and his deputy two weeks ago.

In its latest press conference held at the NUJ Press Centre, Calabar, IPAC insisted: “In the light of the current security situation in our dear state, it has become even more urgent to reinforce our call for the redeployment of these police henchmen. It is now evident that the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force lacks the capacity to enforce law and order in our state.”

Citing the spate of kidnapping, robbery and killings on the highways in the state, the council said: “We have found a dangerous and unabating weakness in the Operations Department, headed by DCP Francis Idu. As one of the oldest DCPs in the state, we believe he has outlived his usefulness, given the obvious weakness in his unit. Our position is hinged on the fact that the Commissioner is new in the state and [the] security situation has been worrisome due largely to the poor handling of security matters by DCP Idu.”

IPAC demanded that the Inspector General of Police immediately deploy a new CP and DCP Operations to the state.

They also called for a comprehensive reshuffling of Divisional Police Officers, DPOs, across the state and especially in Cross River North which has become a major flashpoint of political violence in the state.

Stressing that “nothing can deter us from our resolve to insist on a free, fair and peaceful election” the council noted: “We have enjoyed a smooth working relationship with INEC. It is on record that we didn’t have any disagreement throughout the process of filing candidates. That is why, unlike other states of the federation, we have limited cases of post primaries litigation.”