Wike leads protest against police at Rivers poll
Governor Nyesom Wike and hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters yesterday stormed the Rivers State Police Command headquarters in Port Harcourt in protest against the violence that marred last Saturday’s rerun legislative houses elections.
Wike accompanied by the State Deputy Governor, Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Speaker Dabo Adams, members of the executive council, top PDP leaders, and party stalwarts marched from the Government House, Port Harcourt to the headquarters on Moscow Road, to protest the alleged killing and manhandling of some Rivers voters by the police and other security agencies during the elections.
On sighting the protesting crowd as they approached, the police authorities ordered that the gate of the Command headquarters be shut.
Wike’s request that they be allowed into the premises to register their grievances with the Commissioner of Police was to no avail.
After waiting at the gate for 30 minutes, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyril Okoro came out and spoke to the governor and the crowd through the locked gate.
The governor said the people were incensed by the killing of innocent people by the police and other security operatives during elections. He accused two senior police officers of leading the onslaught against the people of Rivers and compromising the security architecture of the state.
“On behalf of the Rivers State Government and the good people of the state, we have to let the police know that enough is enough. We demand that the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Steven Hasso and the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Akin Fakorede must leave the state.
“Since you don’t want to protect the state and you want to be politicians, you have gotten the votes you want to get, you have also gotten the seats you want to get, you can now leave the state” he said.
Okoro assured the governor that the state police command will pass the message to Abuja for necessary action.
Similarly, the member-elect for Akuku-Toru/Asari – Toru Federal Constituency, Boma Goodhead, has denied the claim by the police that it arrested four suspects in possession of two AK 47 guns that were used to rig the rerun legislative election for her.
Also, a call has been made for a thorough probe of the Rivers polls violence.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja, the Director Mobilisation and Communication of the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), Faith Nwadishi, that the violence that nearly marred the entire process was caused by the irresponsible and unguarded utterances of some political leaders as well as the unprofessional conduct of some security operatives on duty.
She observed that compromised electoral officials also did not help the situation, as there were clear cases of financial inducement.