By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State Police Commissioner, CP Aderemi Adeoye has denied directing his officers to go and start killing people in Anambra State.
The CP made the clarification in an interview with this reporter, Izunna Okafor, on Friday, in reaction to some publications alleging that he told the officers of the Command to start killing people to keep Anambra State safe.
The Commissioner had, during his maiden press conference on Wednesday, said his Command did not have any delight in the killing of anyone but would stop at no obstacle to achieve the mandate given to them by the Inspector-General of Police.
He said at the conference “And we have no delight if anyone loses their life but if that is what it takes to protect the people of Anambra State, we will stop at no obstacle to achieve this mandate given to us by the Inspector-General of Police.”
The CP, however, said that he was deliberately misquoted by some journalists who twisted his comment to imply that he told his officers to be killing people to keep Anambra safe — a misquotation that has elicited the reactions of Anambra Indigenes in the diaspora, who outrightly condemned the comment attributed to the CP and also called for his removal as Anambra Police Commissioner.
In their own reaction to the comment credited to the CP, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) described it as an ethnic cleansing and murderous comments targeting defenseless members of the Eastern Nigerian population resident in the state.
“It is on account of the foregoing that we at Intersociety are strongly calling for the immediate transfer or removal of CP Aderemi Adeoye from Anambra State Police Command as “Anambra CP”,” the statement partly read.
In his reaction, however, CP Adeoye expressed his displeasure with the publications and the tones of reactions of the from the various groups.
He said: “Thank God you were there at my press conference on Wednesday. You remember I told you people at that press conference that I had earlier held a conference with the DPO’s, Area Commanders, and other top senior police officers in the state.
“And, as I told you, during that conference, I warned them against the two evils of extrajudicial killings and corruption. I told them that one DPO had already been removed on such allegations, and that I would not spare anyone involved in any of those twin evils in the State.
“So, how can I be warning the officers against extrajudicial killings, and somebody would say I am telling them to go and be killing people?
“Indeed, I don’t know why some people are like this and what they benefit from peddling lies and sensational comments. What exactly are they trying to achieve by indulging in such?”
The CP further said that he would not dissipate energy to go into further arguments with the groups or doing rejoinders and counter-rejoinders with them, as that would only amount to a distraction to his work.
He said, “I am here to serve and secure the people, and I will not allow anything to distract my attention from that.”
Concerning the call for his removal, the CP told this reporter that he was posted to Anambra State on the decision of the higher authorities, and that he was also ready to leave if the higher authorities decide so, as he is not a sit-tight Commissioner.
“…So, If the IGP decides to redeploy me, I will go, because I didn’t plant any bottle here, and I am not here for pecuniary reasons. I am here to serve. …The IGP said Anambra was where I should go, believing in what I can do; and I am here to justify that confidence, by serving the people to the best of my ability. However, any day or anytime the IGP decides to redeploy me from Anambra State, I will also gladly go,” he said.
“So, for the people who are calling for my removal as Anambra CP because of what they said they saw saw in publications that misquoted me, nobody should not think that being CP Anambra is the best thing to happen to my career; it is not. I’m here to serve with my whole heart, but any day I am transferred, I’ll leave,” CP Adeoye added.