Anambra poll: Politicians recruiting armed robbers, sowing police uniforms — Onovo

click to expand image

Mr. Ogbonna Onovo

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, has alleged that politicians are recruiting armed robbers to assist them win the February 6 governorship poll in Anambra State.

The IG also said that fake police uniforms have found their way to the political class and hoodlums in the state for the election.

Onovo said this in Abuja on Thursday while meeting with governorship candidates and political actors in the state on the need to have a peaceful election.

He explained that the disturbing development was part of intelligence reports submitted to his office by his men in the state.

He also said that some politicians had concluded arrangement to recruit political machineries from other states, especially from the Niger Delta region.

He said the illegal police uniforms, when procured, would be distributed to thugs and motor park touts who he said would be used to either rig or disrupt the election.

He further claimed that members of vigilance groups were also being armed for the same purpose, adding that several politicians were equally talking to members of the outlawed National Association of Road Transport Owners to cause mayhem during the election.

He added that a particular group was already undergoing training on how to snatch ballot boxes.

Onovo said, “Some of you are already procuring MOPOL (riot) policemen uniforms which you want to distribute to political thugs, motor park thugs to perpetrate evil during the election.

“Vigilante people are also being recruited and some retired armed robbers as well. We also have it in our intelligence that some political stalwarts have concluded with drivers unions, Onitsha Market Amalgamated Traders Association and a certain confraternity has concluded plans on how to rig the election.

“In a place called Omamballa, in Anambra East, a large number of youths were being recruited in Umuleri and Aguleri for the election.

“In Ogbaru division, a former chairman of NARTO has perfected his own plan and he is ready to finance any political party that is ready to abide by his terms.

“This fellow and his group are training on how to snatch ballot boxes.

“In Obosi, a group of thugs is being trained on how to disrupt election should it not go their own way.

“In Opoko, a group which claims to be an affiliate to Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra is meeting.

“They have vowed that election will not hold in their area just as they did not allow census to take place the other time.

“In Otu-Ocha, there is an island there where youths are being trained in military tactics. Also, cult members are being recruited from tertiary institutions.

“Some politicians have concluded plans to recruit machineries from other states, especially from the Niger Delta.”

He said the police had been following events in the state for over two months, adding that he was not happy with what was going on.

The IG also said that though there was a relative peace in the state following the deployment of 16 units of riot policemen to stem the tide of kidnapping, there were still threats of kidnapping.


He said the fear of kidnapping and molestation made him to order the Commissioner of Police Anambra State Command, Mr. Suleiman Leha, to provide security for all the aspirants as he would not want to hear that a candidate had either been kidnapped or molested.

Onovo said though he had achieved what he wanted in this regard, he said the situation in the state was still dicey.

He wondered why the state, which he described as one of the states with highest number of influential and educated Nigerians, was full acrimony.

He said, “I will not say I am not worried; I am worried because that is my home as well. We need to provide leadership for others.

“When people protest, they vent their anger on the police by calling us names and so on. Time has come for us to say no.

“Let us remove the speck on our eyes first. Ghana has concluded elections and we applauded them. Several other nations as well have done theirs and we are better than them.

“If you love the people you want to lead, then give them the opportunity to vote without any fear of intimidation.”

He said adequate policemen would be provided for free and fair poll, saying that the policemen would wear special identity cards to avoid impersonation.

He also announced that he would deploy a special monitoring unit to the state to ensure full compliance with all directives regarding the election.

Onovo said no candidate would be allowed into the polling areas with either his police orderly or other security details.

Out of the 25 political parties that are fielding candidates for the election, 18 sent their representatives.

Some candidates that attended the meeting include Dr. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress, Dr. Andy Uba, Labour Party, while the running mates of Governor Peter Obi of All Progressive Grand Alliance, Uche Ekwunife of Progressive Peoples Alliance and Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of the Peoples Democratic Party were in attendance.

Asking questions from the police boss, some of the aspirants wanted to know if the police were well funded for the election and if they would not depend on any of the contestants.

One of them also accused the police of always colluding with political parties to rig election, and wondered who would arrest such policemen even when identified.

They also appealed to the Police to harmonise their security positions with the Nigerian Army so that they do not work at cross purposes during the election.

Responding, Onovo said that security agents were well funded for the election, adding that he would hold meetings with leaders of other security arms before the election.

On rigging, he said he was sure that no policeman would be ready to trade with his several years of service. He also said that senior security personnel would also be on ground to attend to complaints.

All the politicians were made to serve bonds to be of good behaviour before and during the election.

Apart from Onovo, the meeting was attended by all the six deputy inspectors general, Leha and some other senior police officers.


This is a shameful and Poor Hypocritical public statements by I.G of Police Onovo and from the Nigerian Police.

Are we then surprised if Nigeria is now being enlisted as a terrorist nation?

The head of the Nigeria police Service made a public announcement that his officers discovered an ongoing criminal act; he calls a meeting in which the culprits attended, but fails to arrest the same people that he is accusing of crime.

The criminals interacted with him; he served them refreshments, exchanged warm handshakes with them and then sent them home.

Shame to I.G of Police Onovo, shame on the Federal government of Nigeria and shame to the Nigeria Police.

I sincerely hope that the government of the USA will use this current export of terrorism from Nigeria to begin to teach the leadership a real lesson in responsibility.

I.G of Police Onovo should go ahead and name the kidnappers of Soludos Dad, name the kidnappers that the informants received 10million from Peter Obi,  name the Politicians recruiting Niger Delta militants or keep his big mouth shut!