By JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT — GOVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, yesterday, described the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mbu as “ a known politician of the PDP,” noting that he was among those that wanted to stop the state lawmakers from performing their legislative functions in the state.
The governor spoke while assenting the 2014 Appropriation Bill passed by the state House of Assembly at its sitting in Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said: “The Commissioner of Police is not a complete policeman, he is a known PDP politician, who attends meetings with them and carries out illegal action. Yesterday, you were able to assert that democracy is about people and that when you talk about democracy, it begins with the legislative arm of government for the reason that you represent each unit of our people and you actually go down to the people.”
Thanking the state lawmakers for the passage of the bill, the governor said the initial plan of those he styled ‘our Abuja brothers’ and the Commissioner of Police in the state was to stop the passage, adding that the passage would empower his administration to effectively provide dividends of democracy to the people.
“Let me thank the House (of Assembly) for your action, yesterday. There was the need to defeat those who wish the state evil and I am sure the whole state is extremely pleased with the level of patriotism you displayed.
“The initial plan of those led by our so-called ‘Abuja brothers’ and the Commissioner of Police was to stop you (lawmakers) from discharging your legislative functions. I heard that one of them is telling people that he has been able to stop the House from sitting and that he has been able to stop the judiciary from functioning,” he added.
Leader of the House of Assembly, Mr Chidi Lloyd, who has been granted bail by the Police, said the lawmakers were satisfied with the performance of the governor so far in the state.
He said: “May I, by leave of Mr. Speaker (Otelemaba Dan-Amachree) invite Your Excellency to kindly assent to the 2014 Appropriation Bill, as passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly. Your Excellency, we urge you to continue to deliver on the dividends of good governance as you have done.”
It will be recalled that Governor Amaechi had on Tuesday, presented the proposed 2014 budget of N485.524 billion to the state Assembly, which it passed same day.
The Felix Obuah-led faction of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state on its part, had faulted the lawmakers for the passage of the appropriation bill, describing the presentation of the bill by the governor before the lawmakers as criminal. Obuah said the action of the lawmakers and the governor was nothing short of impunity, adding that it destroyed the tenets of popular democracy.