Imo Guber Election: Reactions as Police Conference is set to hold in Owerri
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been alerted to an alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Hope Uzodimma to hijack the Conference and Retreat for Senior Police Officers taking place in Owerri, Imo State capital, between October 30 and November 1, 2023, to the advantage of the APC for the November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state.
This is contained in a statement issued on Monday by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, about a situation that is already generating tension in the state.
The PDP urged the Acting Inspector General of Police to move the conference to another state as it observed that the planned hosting in Imo State is sending the wrong signal that the police are in bed with the APC and Governor Uzodimma, who is also a candidate in the governorship election.
The statement added: “Our Party observes that it is inappropriate and against the principle of fairness and neutrality required in a charged election situation as presently existing in Imo State for Governor Uzodimma, the candidate of the APC, to be seen as sponsoring or hosting senior police officers at this critical period, especially being very close to the election.
“The PDP and indeed the people of Imo State are deeply concerned following boasts by prominent APC leaders to the effect that the hosting of the police conference will enhance their alleged plots to compromise the police to the advantage of the APC during the election.
“Such APC leaders, including those fronting for Governor Uzodimma, are boasting that the hosting of the conference in Imo State will give the governor access to certain senior police officers, in furtherance of the APC’s alleged bid to compromise security agencies ahead of the election.
“This is more so as APC leaders have on many occasions been seen bragging that they will use security operatives to suppress the people and help the APC subvert and manipulate the electoral process in favour of Governor Uzodimma.
“While the PDP appreciates every effort to enhance security in the nation and Imo State in particular, the timing and location of the conference at this period are of grave concern and apprehension to the people of Imo State, political parties, and stakeholders in the state.
“Our party confirms that it has been receiving messages of concern and apprehension from the people of Imo State since the announcement by the police to host the conference in the state under Governor Uzodimma.
“The PDP therefore cautions that hosting the conference in Imo State under Governor Uzodimma at this time, just a few days before the election, is a recipe for crisis as it is capable of pitching the people of Imo State against security agencies.
“Our Party therefore urges the Acting IGP, as a highly experienced and decorated officer, to save the situation and allay the fears of the people by moving the conference to another state or to a date after the election, if it must be hosted in Imo State.
“This is especially true as the provision of security is not by the conference but by intelligence and proactive law enforcement operations.”
The PDP counselled that the police must protect its image and reaffirm its impartiality and neutrality in the election by moving the conference to another state or another date after the Imo governorship election.