The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has described the dismissal of six “innocent” police officers by the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force as a sad day for Nigeria.
Wike, who spoke through the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tam-George, also demanded immediate reinstatement of the dismissed policemen.
In an online press statement titled “Wrongful Dismissal of Governor Wike’s Six Police Details: Tragic Day for Professionalism in the Nigerian Police,” the governor said: “The Rivers State Government notes with infinite sadness the decision of the Nigeria Police to dismiss the six police officers attached to Governor Nyesom Wike.
“The police officers were subjected to a secret and unfair trial on totally fictitious charges of professional misconduct during the rerun elections in Rivers State on December 10, 2016.
“This is a tragic day for professionalism and the respect for human rights in the Nigeria Police Force.
“The dismissed officers committed no crime other than foil a carefully-orchestrated electoral heist by officials of INEC in collusion with the APC and the Nigeria Police Force.
“The claim by the police that the affected officers misused their firearms while in the convoy of Governor Wike on December 10, 2016 is a wrong and cruel fabrication.
“Governor Wike did not depart from his official premises on the day of the elections and therefore had no use for an armed convoy.
“Two days after the elections, on December 12, 2016, thousands of Rivers people, led by Governor Wike, resisted an invasion by the police on the premises of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council, in a brazen attempt to rig the elections in favour of the APC.
“The Port Harcourt City Council was the election collation centre for the Rivers
East Senatorial District.
“Throughout the period of the stand off between the invading police officers
and the thousands of citizens who resisted them, Governor Wike and the officers around him conducted themselves with utmost restraint.
“The dismissed officers are therefore the latest victims of the medieval dictatorship of the APC government. A government that seems to lurch blindly in the miasma of its own incompetence and intolerance.”
Governor Wike also urged Nigerians to demand the immediate reinstatement of the dismissed officers and for the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to allow an independent inquiry.
Wike alleged that the APC government had never hidden its desperation to overrun Rivers State, colonise its people and loot the treasury of the state, adding that Rivers people would continue to resist all attempts to enslave them.
However, the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) described the dismissal of six policemen for unethical conduct during the December 10 legislative rerun in the state as a clear indictment of Governor Wike.
Speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, in Port Harcourt yesterday, the party maintained that the decision of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to dismiss the six errant policemen who flouted his directive not to support politicians to rig elections was a step that would ensure sanity in the Nigeria Police Force.
APC in Rivers said: “The dismissal of the six policemen is a clear indictment on Wike over his violation of electoral regulations in the December 10 rerun elections in Rivers State.
“We believe that it is just a tip of the iceberg of what will be unravelled that were perpetrated by the Rivers State governor during the rerun.
“Nigerians are waiting for the IGP’s panel report that will seal the fate of Wike and his accomplices within the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”