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I’m apolitical, insists Edo police boss

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The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, yesterday, refuted claims that he declared his support for members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who visited him in his office last Thursday, warning that anyone caught using his office to heat up the polity would face dire consequences.

The Commissioner gave the clarification after the State Security Council meeting Governor Godwin Obaseki held with heads of security agencies at the Government House, Benin City, saying he and his office remain apolitical and open to all.

“It is my statutory responsibility to provide security for lives and property irrespective of political affiliation,” he said. Responding to the alleged withdrawal of the security details of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Frank Okiye, Kokumo assured that “those who are entitled to security details will be given, while those who are not entitled to security details will be withdrawn.”

He said the security heads reviewed the activities of their operatives in the last few weeks, adding: “We talked about political violence and thuggery and means of putting checks in place. The security agencies will leave no stone unturned; we have created a conducive atmosphere for the forthcoming gubernatorial election. We want to assure Edo people that the pre-election period would be safe and conducive for campaigns, during and after the election, to ensure there is no breach of law and order.”

On his part, Obaseki expressed concern over the rising security challenges ahead of the September 19 gubernatorial election in the state.

“We condemn the high level of thuggery, violence and increasing influx of arms into the state.

The commissioner of Police briefed the council on yesterday’s situation at the Edo State House of Assembly that led to some illegal and treasonable acts conducted by some individuals.

“The security personnel have assured us of their readiness to secure and tackle any security challenges faced by the state.

“They are up to the tasks; they have the men and materials to take charge. They assured us and the good people of Edo of adequate security to ensure the protection of lives and property,” the governor said.


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