By SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North
Rivers State Governor, Chubuike Rotimi Amaechi, has pleaded with the Police Service Commission, PSC, to immediately redeploy the controversial police commissioner,Mbu Joseph Mbu, from the State for his partisanship in the unfolding political crisis in the state.
Amaechi, who reeled out a catalogue of offences committed by Mbu against him and the State, said that the police officer, had compromised his post and professional ethics in the discharge of his duties.
The Governor’s allegations against Mbu are contained in a petition he sent to the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro, which was copied to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President, David Mark, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
In the petition dated July 9, 2013, Amaechi recalled all the atrocities committed by Mbu since he was posted to the state in February this year, culminating in last Tuesday’s shameful attempt to assist five out of the 32 members of the House of Assembly to assault the Speaker and his supporters.
Recalling that he had worked seamlessly with four other police commissioners before Mbu was deployed to the State, Amaechi made it clear that Mbu was unfit to serve in a sensitive State like Rivers since it was too clear that he had opted to work against the interest and wellbeing of the people of the state.
The governor said that apart from taking side with those bent on causing trouble in the state, Mbu did not show appropriate respect to constituted authorities as demanded of his job as a police officer and should therefore be shown the way out of the state.
The governor noted, “The actions and comments of Mr. Mbu have shown that he is unwilling to support me to protect lives and properties of everyone in Rivers State.
“He has compromised our regular Security Council meetings leading to reluctance on the part of other members to speak up during the meetings and therefore rendering the meetings ineffective.
“Besides his disparaging comments and discussions of security matters with scant regard for decorum, he has destabilised the security apparatus in the State thereby supporting the return of some of the key actors in the cult wars that engulfed the State from 2004 up till 2007.
Not desirous to curb crime
“Sir, it has become evident that Mr. Mbu is not desirous of assisting us in our quest for a crime free and peaceful Rivers State. It is also evident that he lacks the appropriate mien and disposition required of such a highly placed officer of the law and is unable to appropriately perform his functions as commissioner of police in Rivers State.
“I would therefore wish to respectfully request for his re-deployment from Rivers State in the interest of the people of the State and to restore the confidence of the people of Rivers State in the impartiality of the Nigerian Police.
“Regrettably, since after Mbu’s assumption as Commissioner of Police in February 2013, the security situation in Rivers State began to deteriorate due largely to his approach to the discharge of his responsibility as commissioner of police.
“Shortly upon resumption of duties Mr. Mbu began to withdraw police security attached to principal officers of the State for reasons that were different from those given by the Assistant Inspector General of Police of Zone 6 during a visit to me.
“Police security attached to the Governor, the Speaker, the Attorney General and key judicial officers were withdrawn without prior notice or justification. This was followed by a daily redeployment of divisional police officers and heads of departments who understood the security dynamics of the State and had held their offices with great commendation,” Amaechi alleged.
The Governor lamented that apart from ignoring pleas from him to work with him in order to strengthen the security of the state, Mbu unilaterally terminated the joint police/army patrol, which had been used as a formidable strategy to check violent crimes of kidnapping, armed robbery and car-snatching in Rivers State.
“Regrettably, while I was still making efforts to persuade Mr. Mbu to appreciate the peculiar challenges of the State and to adopt a cordial working relationship, which the State had enjoyed with his predecessors, Mr. Mbu began to exhibit conduct consistent with partisanship in the discharge of his official duties.”
Explaining what led to last Tuesday’s crisis in the House of Assembly during which many members sustained various degrees of injuries, Amaechi accused Mbu of dismantling the security deployed to guard the assembly complex thereby paving the way for hired thugs to attack some lawmakers said to be loyal to him.
He said, “Following intelligence reports, security was enhanced within and around the Rivers State House of Assembly Complex.
“At about 09.00 hours, Mr. Mbu invited some of the personnel and directed that the security formations should be demobilised. In consequence of this failure of security at the instance of Mr. Mbu, hoodlums invaded the premises and Chambers of the House of Assembly. The attendant fracas led to injury to persons including members of the House.
“Upon the receipt of this information, I went to the Assembly Complex with my security details to rescue members of the Assembly. Thereafter, the House proceeded to sit and conduct its business for the day.
“Further information reaching me in the presence of Mr. Mbu necessitated my inviting him to accompany me to the Assembly Complex, which he declined. On the advice of my security, I stayed back and directed that they should monitor the situation.”
The Governor pointed out that he could no longer tolerate the excesses of Mbu, having called him names including a tyrant and dictator and shown to the world that he had taken side with criminals who were out to bring down the State and destroy the property of the citizens.
Amaechi said that on many occasions, the CP and his men had turned a blind eye while allowing cultists and militants to cause mayhem in the State and in the State House of Assembly, which is opposite the Police Command in Port Harcourt.
He lamented that the militia leaders led by Ateke Tom and Solomon Ndigbara were unleashed on the Government House and major streets of Port Harcourt on May 22, 2013, shortly after he had met with the AIG in charge of Zone 6, thereby preventing the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and others who were in the Government House from leaving the state.
He said that Mbu had taken side with a faction of the PDP in the State led by Bro Felix Obuah and refused to obey any other court order not in the interest of the faction, citing the continued occupation of the Obio/Akpor LG secretariat as a case in point.
He also said the police looked away as hoodlums torched the council and killed the aide of the factional chairman of the party, Chief Godspower Ake, in Erema in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, where Obuah also comes from.
Meanwhile, a public affairs analyst, Phrank Shaibu, has raised alarm that some well-placed persons may be planning to take Amaechi’s life.
Shuaibu said the attack on the Governor by the CP, who should be working closely with him as his counterparts in other states, was an indication that the commissioner had been given a different brief on Amaechi.
“Nigerians should be aware that the withdrawal of some of the security details to the Governor is part of a knavish and villainous plot to kill him.
“It is a politically dangerous situation which calls for mass mobilisation and an urgent internal arrangement in order to thwart any further move by the enemies of the state and “external forces” from eliminating the Governor or “killing” the state economically.
“This crass refuge to the profanation of power, as Nigerians can clearly see, is not a sign of political strength but a clear manifestation of an annoyingly imprudent show of immaturity, especially by the Presidency, despite several denials as it bothers on their role in the ugly saga in Rivers State.
“Nigerians can see a semblance of the ugly treatment experienced by then Governor Chris Ngige of Anambra State during which his security aides were suddenly withdrawn, paving the way for his unconstitutional removal from office in the offing.”