The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, has issued a directive to seal all 17 local government area secretariats in Plateau State.
The announcement was made by the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka, in a statement released on Thursday.
The statement, signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Alabo Alfred, cited the need to prevent a breakdown of law and order following the appointment of new leadership in the affected council areas by the state governor, Caleb Mutfwang.
According to the statement, the decision to seal the secretariats is to safeguard critical infrastructure, lives, and properties in the state.
The statement read in part, “The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, CP Bartholomew Onyeka, to seal up all the 17 local government secretariats of the state.
“This has become necessary as a result of tensions around the leadership of the local government areas and the possible threat that supporters and local government chairmen are posing to critical infrastructure, lives and properties in the state. The decision to take this action is in accordance with the exercise of our constitutional responsibility as the Nigeria Police Force, to ensure that the above doesn’t hold sway on the Plateau.
“To this end, the Nigeria Police Force on the Plateau cannot sit down and watch things go wrong under our watch, hence the need to make this critical decision of sealing up the local government secretariats.
“The command therefore warns that it will not take it lightly with anyone who tries to disrupt this process or causes any confusion around the Local Government Secretariats, as we will ensure that the law takes its full course on such persons.
“The CP commends the good people of Plateau State for their continued understanding and urges everyone to go about their lawful businesses as we all give peace a chance on the Plateau.”
This recent development is unrelated to the suspension of all chairmen and councillors in the local government areas of the state, which occurred last week.
Governor Caleb Mutfwang suspended the officials to facilitate investigations into allegations of financial impropriety raised against them by the state legislature.
The governor subsequently appointed interim management committees to oversee the affairs of the council areas. However, the former council officials, who were all members of the All Progressives Congress, rejected their suspension and have vowed to remain in their offices.