The indigenes of Edo State under the Concerned Citizens of Edo State have called on the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Haliru Gwandu, to obey redeployment order on him by the Police Service Commission (PSC).
They alleged that his “gross incompetence” has reenforced criminals freedom to cause mayhem and senseless killings in the state.
In a protest which commences from Edo House to the Louis Edet House and the National Assembly complex in Abuja, on Monday, they decried the insistence of the Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Mr Gwandu, to hold on to his office after being posted out of the command about three months ago.
They called on the presidency, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the National Assembly, to prevail on him to obey PSC posting and leave the state.
National Daily gathered that a letter addressed to leaders of the National Assembly and the Presidency and signed by its coordinator, Hon. Henry Okpamen, said “We, the concerned citizens of Edo State, are gathered here today to share our pains with Mr President, the President of Senate and the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives and all their members on the worsening security situation in our State.
“While the Governor and his Cabinet, with the cooperation from the revered Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, are working round the clock to encourage investments into Edo State, the Inspector General of Police has refused to support the government of Edo State in this effort.
They reiterated the urgent need to overhaul the security architecture considering that the centrality of Edo State makes it vulnerable to people from different parts of the country, who perpetrates these crimes.
Okada, Okpella, Ekenwan, Auchi-Ekpoma-Benin axis of the state are flashpoints of crime, hence there is the need to respond swiftly and intelligently by policing the nooks and crannies of the state.
The Group further expressed shock over what they described as “Gwandu colluding with the IGP to ensure that the CP that was posted about three months ago by the PSC, did not leave the state to resume at his new place of deployment.
They stated that the posting, which was contained in a release by the PSC on July 5, 2017, has left many in Edo confused because, though one Mr Johnson Babatunde Kokumo was announced Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Haliru Gwandu and his cohorts still hold sway in the state.
While saluting previous commissioners to have worked assiduously to check criminal activities in the state to the extent to neutralising flashpoints, they explained that Mr Gwandu was “lethargic and showing nonchalant attitude” to his job and security in the state.
“The incompetence of Mr Gwandu came to the fore in March 2017, when a former Council Chairman of Etsako East, Hon. Suleiman Malik Afegbua and some other persons were kidnapped by suspected herdsmen along the Benin-Ehor road. Hon. Afegbua was later killed by the kidnappers.
“Strangely, while the family was still negotiating the release of the other persons that were kidnapped along with him, Mr Haliru Gwandu announced gleefully to the whole world that the kidnappers had been arrested by his men, which was not true.
“This breach of trust demonstrates that Mr Gwandu was out of touch with reality and incapable of relying on security reports to manage delicate situations in the State.
“Even after this well-publicized incident involving Hon. Suleiman Afegbua, herdsmen continued to operate freely in that area and this led to the kidnapping and killing of innocent, vulnerable farmers especially women in Ewu, Uromi, Ubiaja and Ebigbere communities of the state.
“For instance, when Dr. Andy Ehanire, the renowned environmentalist and conservationist was kidnapped on Sunday 24th of September 2017, which led to three police officers being killed in the process, available information indicates that there was ample and advanced intelligence report showing that criminal elements were planning to invade the area at that period.
“However, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, in his characteristic incompetence, slept away and decided to leave the criminals to operate freely and put the lives of his officers at the mercy of the killers.
“While the family of the slain policemen were still mourning, the family of the kidnapped victim and government were still negotiating with the kidnappers, another incident took place on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 with the kidnapping of the renowned musician, Ambassador Osayomore Joseph.
What seems to break the Carmel’s back was the killing by gunmen of a Professor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Benin, Prof Paul Otasowie at his residence last week.
National Daily further gathered that in the last couple of months, violent killings, kidnapping have been on the increase making people to say that the lacklustre attitude of the CP Gwandu has exacerbated the surge in crime