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Police debunk alleged plan to kidnap Rivers REC

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The Commissioner of Police (CP), in Rivers state, Usman Belel has debunked the alleged plan to kidnap the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in the state ahead of Saturday’s governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
The state government through the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simoen Nwakudu in a statement on Tuesday had raised an alarm on an alleged plan by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state to kidnap the State REC ahead of the polls to push for the postponement of the exercise in the state to a later date.
But the CP who apparently felt embarrassed by the development in a statement he signed in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Tuesday described the allegation as unfounded and unverifiable urged members of the public to disregard it.
He assured the people of the state that the command and other security agencies in the state are on top of the security of the state during the elections, insisting that nothing will go wrong.
The state security Boss said, “The attention of the Rivers State Police Command has been drawn to a Press Statement Signed by Simon Nwakudu , S.A to the Governor of Rivers State on Electronic Media , on the planned kidnap of the Resident Electoral Commissioner and  subsequent Postponement of the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Elections Scheduled to hold on Saturday 9th March, 2019.
“The Nigeria Police Force being the lead Agency in Internal Security and on Election Security Duties is disturbed by this unverifiable, unfounded, baseless and malicious allegation and hereby wishes to refute and condemn the allegation in the strongest terms and to allay the fears and apprehension generated by that unnecessary and alarmist report by the Rivers State Government,” he said.
Speaking further said, “To this end, it has become increasingly necessary to refute that phantom allegation and herein State as follows:-
“The Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security    (ICCES) headed by the Commissioner of Police, ahead of the 2019 Elections met severally and fashioned out modules on the Security of the entire Election process, which was largely responsible for the successful conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the State.
“The Committee remains irrevocably committed and untiring in its efforts to ensure that the Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections scheduled to hold on Saturday are peaceful, credible and devoid of violence.
“The Rivers State Government, is levying this weighty allegation on the Security Agencies at this crucial moment, is indeed sad and unfortunate, when in actual fact, the Security Agencies should be encouraged and prayed for by all and sundry, to entrench a credible process that will stand the test of time.
“The allegation of kidnap of the Resident Electoral Commissioner and postponement of the Elections, are all serious issues that touch on State Security, hence they will be thoroughly investigated, to ascertain the veracity or otherwise and bring anybody or group found complicit to Justice.”
Belel appealed,  “Consequently, may I at this point appeal to the Residents of the State to remain calm and go about their normal activities, as there is no cause for alarm.
“The allegation, for all intents and purposes, is politically motivated and only intended to heat up the polity and create unnecessary tension in the State.
“It is further noted, albeit, regrettably, that, the  allegation is a calculated attempt to undermine and overreach the Security Agencies and the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), hence I call on the good people of the State  and the public at large, to disregard and discountenance same, as lacking in merit .
“Finally, I want to use this medium to reiterate our commitment to serve you better, remain professional, focused and provide a level playing field for all the Political Parties and the Electorates to exercise their franchise.” he pledged.

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