The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged the police to be more circumspect and avoid being partisan in their ongoing investigation into the crisis in Rivers State, if the outcome of the investigation is to be acceptable to Nigerians.
In a statement issued in Oro, Kwara State, on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the fact that only the security aides of Gov. Chibuike Amaechi have been invited to Abuja for questioning by the police hierarchy, and also the fact that only the majority leader of the State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, has been declared wanted, have provided an insight into the thinking of the police on the issue.
It wondered why Rivers Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu, who provided cover for the five renegade lawmakers to attack the House while failing to provide security for the House to sit, and the leader of the renegade lawmakers Evans Bipi, who allegedly started the crisis in the House by punching Lloyd and the Speaker of the House on the face, were not invited along with the others.
“As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. Definitely there are two sides to every issue, including the crisis that rocked the House of Assembly last week. It therefore amounts to a warped investigation to focus only on one side, as the police appear to be doing. This kind of investigation can only lead to jungle justice, and further erode the credibility of the police, who have now descended into the arena instead of staying above the fray.
“This is why we warned, in our earlier statement, that the police should go beyond addressing the symptoms in its efforts to unravel the role played by the security agency in the festering crisis. We hate to say that the action of the police hierarchy has vindicated us,” ACN said.
The party said the fact that the police hierarchy appears to be shielding the glaringly-partisan Police Commissioner in Rivers (despite the shabby treatment he has meted out to the state’s chief executive) and the five renegade members has made it hard for Nigerians to believe in the neutrality of the police in this matter.
“Equally worrisome is the unilateral deployment of new security aides to the Rivers Government House without the usual practice of giving the Governor a say in who his security aides are. It is therefore not surprising that the Governor has raised the alarm about his personal security. After all, he does not know what instructions these new aides have, especially since the untouchable Commissioner of Police remains in the saddle!” it said.
Meanwhile, the ACN has said the root cause of the Rivers crisis appears to have come to the fore, going by the statement credited to the First Lady on Wednesday, that it started four years ago when Gov. Amaechi apparently defied Her Excellency’s appeal not to demolish a part of Okrika.
“This revelation is a mortal blow to all those who have been struggling to distance the President and the First Lady from the Rivers crisis. It also shows that, contrary to the cynical statements blaming the crisis on some external forces and those who are supposedly crying more than the bereaved, the cause is right there in the President’s bedroom, and that’s why the solution should come from,” the party said.