Police Siege In Rivers: Lawmakers Raise Alarm, Plead With Buhari To Intervene

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-Unprofessional conduct of officers of Nigeria Police Force in Rivers State, especially members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, leading to unlawful killings have become a source of great concern to the Rivers State House of Assembly, who have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and free the state of police siege.
Consequent upon a Motion of Urgent Public Importance by Hon. Martins Amaewhule, Majority Leader of the House, the Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, Wednesday, condemned the questionable activities of SARS operatives, and also announced their resolve to notify the international community of the infractions against the government and people of Rivers State.
Hon. Amaewhule, in his motion also called for the redeployment of Akin Fakorede, commander of SARS from the state because of his alleged partisan disposition.
Earlier, Hons. Victor Ihunwo, Deeyah B., Okechukwu Chindah, Nwanaka Opkokiri, Berbnard Anabraba and others had spoken in favour of the motion decribing it a stimely in view of the alleged excesses of the police, especially, the SARS under the leadership of Akin Fakorede, who the lawmakers wants to be redeployed to the office for administrative duties.
However, Hon. Victoria Nyeche (APC), representing Port Harcourt State Constituency 2, and Hon. Innocent Barikor also of the opposition APC, representing Gokana expressed their reservations.
Hon. Barikor, who observed that the matter has been emotionalised, called for fair hearing from any security operative being accused of unprofessional misconduct, but he was stopped by the speaker who alleged a misrepresentation of facts.
Contributing, Hon. Victoria Nyeche had drawn the attention of her colleagues to what seems like a rivalry between two arms of the police in the state, arguing for a holistic action instead of singling out SARS for condemnation.
She also argued that the House was incompetent to legislate on security matters, a position that made the speaker to rule her out of order. Rt. Hon. Owaji –Ibani explained that it is the duty of the House to make laws for peace and good governance in the state.
The speaker further argued that protection of lives and property remains the primary duty of government, which according to Hon. Anabraba includes the three tiers of government, with Governor Nyesom Wike being the Chief Security Officer of Rivers state.
Meanwhile, Hon. Nathaniel Owaji, representing ONELGA 2, was promptly called to order when he attempted to blame the security situation in the state on the political differences between Governor Wike and Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.
He had wondered and why Ikwerre leaders, and indeed chiefs and elders of Rivers state are watching the two Ikwerre sons threatening the peace and security of the state without taking steps to call them to order.
The Speaker, Rt. Hin. Owaji-Ibani however maintained that they were voted into public office to protect the lives of Rivers people, and that the 8th Assembly will not shy away from that responsibility.


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