Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday told the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris that the withdrawal of his chief security officer (CSO) exposed him to danger.
The governor urged the police chief to transfer the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Operations, Steven Hasso, and the Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Akin Fakorede, for alleged compromise in the state’s security for partisan reasons.
Wike spoke when he hosted Idris at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The governor regretted that without consultation, the police high command allegedly took sides with Hasso, who he said attempted to invade Government House with All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters.
Wike said he was shocked by the statement from the Office of the IGP that his CSO was withdrawn for alleged misconduct.
He insisted that contrary to the IGP’s claim, the CSO only stopped Hasso and APC supporters from invading Government House.
Wike said: “The moment you touch my CSO, you are telling me that you are ready for me. As I sit, I am empty; I have no protection.
“When people start to embarrass the governor, take his CSO without information, it is completely wrong. What you have done is the highest disrespect to the Office of the Governor.
“I am pleading with you, my life is important. I will take any CSO you bring to me… This is a matter of security and protection; it is not what you treat with levity.”
The governor warned the police chief against politicising the security of the rerun, adding that after the election, there will still be governance.
He cautioned the police high command that Rivers State residents would support an unbiased police, but warned that the people would resist any attempt to use security agencies for what he called untoward electoral action.
Wike said: “If the police want a free and fair election, the police will get free and fair election.”
The governor berated the police for declaring a state-wide curfew without consulting the state’s Security Council.
He reminded Idris that he had written several letters to his office without getting a reply.
Wike accused Fakorede of distributing SARS uniform to suspected APC thugs.
Idris said he was in the state to ensure a peaceful rerun.
He urged the people of Rivers State to support the security agencies to deliver peaceful polls.