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Wike Leads People’s Protest (The Tide)


The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, yesterday, led thousands of Rivers people to the streets to protest the alleged killings by the police and other security agencies during the December 10 rerun elections.

 The governor and other protesters had taken off from the Government House, Port Harcourt at 8am, and marched through Azikiwe Street and Bank Road before stopping at the Rivers State Police headquarters on Moscow Road.

 Wike had waited patiently for about 30 minutes before the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Cyril Okoro, came out and spoke through the gate.

 The governor, who later addressed the police, explained that the people of Rivers State were at the Police headquarters to inform the authorities that they were tired of the killings of innocent people in the state by the police and other security operatives.

 He pointed out that the people and state government were dissatisfied with the recklessness of two senior policemen, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Steven Hasso and the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Akin Fakorede.

 According to him, the officers led the “sponsored onslaught” against the people of Rivers State, and compromised 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, 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.

“If they don’t leave the state, then, we will do all we can to ensure they leave this state. They must leave this state. They have killed innocent people.

“We have come here peacefully; communicate this to your superiors in Abuja. I cannot write again since I have done that repeatedly. Please, I don’t want my people to die anymore,” Wike said.

 The governor stated that the Police High Command had refused to act despite the overwhelming evidence against the duo, especially the video footage that showed Akin Fakorede and other security operatives trying to snatch results of the Rivers East Senatorial District.

“If Rivers people could be visited with such a despicably high degree of violence, mayhem and killings by some renegade military and SARS operatives with impunity just to rescue the dying political fortunes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a mere legislative re-run elections, then we can now begin to imagine what is likely to happen in the state when the political stakes would be very much higher in 2019.”

He regretted the brazen manner that federal might was negatively used to ensure the return of APC candidates at all cost.

 He noted that the people of the state still need to thank God because the negative outcome could have been worse.

 The governor said that the state government received credible information on the planned electoral theft and mass violence through the use of security agents, but all efforts to alert the nation were disregarded.

 He noted that he has been vindicated by the ugly incidents of December 10 where two Senior Policemen, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Steven Hasso and the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Chief Superintendent of Police, Akin Fakorede and other security operatives tormented Rivers people, killing many in the process.

 He said: “They accused us of raising unnecessary alarms when we cried aloud over their devilish plans to use the federally-controlled SARS to disenfranchise our people and manipulate the re-run election process towards achieving some pre-arranged outcomes against the will of the people.

“Today, we have clearly and eloquently been vindicated. Despite the unprecedented deployment of over 28,000 police personnel, three helicopters and 20 gun boats for the re-run elections, we all witnessed how Stephen Hasso, Akin Fakorede, and their gang of marauders took direct and complete control of the election process from INEC in the Rivers South-East Senatorial District, as well as in Ikwerre, Emohua and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas, and left unimaginable trails of mayhem, shootings, maiming and killing of innocent people.

“Indeed, never in our history have Rivers people been so physically, mentally and psychologically brutalized, traumatized and denied their rights to freely and fairly elect our leaders by shameless gangs of hired, power-drunk, trigger-happy and irresponsible security officers and their political collaborators.”

The governor added: “If Rivers people could be visited with such a despicably high degree of violence, mayhem and killings by some renegade military and SARS operatives with impunity just to rescue the dying political fortunes of the All Progressives Congress in a mere legislative re-run elections, then we can now begin to imagine what is likely to happen in the state when the political stakes would be very much higher in 2019.

“Information available to us indicates that CSP Akin Fakorede, who was caught on camera physically brutalizing a female electoral officer is currently being debriefed by the police high command in Abuja. However, we do not have confidence in what they are doing neither do we expect that the victims of Akin’s brutality will ever get justice from the police authorities given the levity with which they treated and bungled the case against those that were arrested in Port Harcourt while printing results sheets with which to rig the re-run elections”, Wike said

 Wike described a situation, where security officials had transformed into politicians in uniform as unfortunate.

 Reacting, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Cyril Okoro, assured the governor that the Rivers State Police Command would pass his message to the Police High Command for necessary action.

 However, at the main entrance to the state Police Command, the policemen inside the command did not open the gate for the governor and other protesters.

 Among those who accompanied the governor to the state police headquarters were the state Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo; Speaker, State House of Assembly, Dabo Adams; ex-Mminister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo; former UBA Chairman, Chief Ferdinand Alabrabra; ex-State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru; and Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah.

This post was first published on the Thetidenewsonline.com

Views expressed are only those of the authors.

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