The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on the Police Service
Commission (PSC) to address the
causes rather than the symptoms of the crisis in Rivers State in its
ongoing investigation into the role of the police
in the flare-up in the State House House of Assembly last week.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity
Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party
said the statement credited to PSC Chairman Mike Okiro suggests that
his commission is only interested in the role
of the police in last week clashes, rather than how the police
hierarchy in the state wantonly allowed the flare-up simply
because it is acting to protect certain interests at the expense of
”Governor Amaechi of Rivers has documented, in a much-publicised
letter to Mr. Okiro, how the Police Commissioner in
Rivers, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, has thrown professionalism to the winds in
pursuing his narrow agenda at the expense of
the security of the state.
”It is on record that this ‘political policeman’ has worsened the
security situation in the state since he assumed office in
February 2013 by undermining the authority of the Governor as the
Chief Security Officer of his state; undermining the security
structure put in place by the State Security Council and compromising
the council to such an extent that members no longer speak
their minds freely during meetings.
”These are the issues we expect a non-partisan PSC to address with a
view to sanctioning whoever it is that paved the way
for the disgraceful show that was put up under the klieg light last
week. While the PSC will be right to sanction even the policemen
shown to have acted badly that day, the sanctions must extend to their
bosses who allowed that to happen. Anything short of that
will be akin to punishing a bus conductor for an accident involving
his vehicle while exonerating the bus driver,” it said.
ACN also insisted, in line with its earlier statement, that President
Goodluck Jonathan cannot be absolved of blame over the crisis,
much as his aides and party have struggled to distance him from it.
”Anyone with a conscience knows that the root of the problem in
Rivers lies in the President’s bedroom, and no amount of fanciful
statements or name calling targeted at those who are conscientious
enough to call a spade a spade will change that.
”This is why we are insisting that the President must be impeached by
the National Assembly for his failure to respect the rule of law
and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which he has
taken an oath to uphold,” the party said.
It called on the presidency to heed the voice of reason instead of
instigating attacks on those who have called attention to its overt
or covert role or its vicarious responsibility in the Rivers crisis.
”Our party, the ACN, has been viciously attacked for standing up for
what is right on the Rivers crisis. One of the country’s most
personality and a global icon, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has been called
names for speaking up in order to avert a deterioration of the crisis.
But this is nothing new. The legend Obafemi Awolowo was equally
castigated when he called attention to the worsening state of the
economy in 1983, only for him to be proven right shortly thereafter.
The presidency and all concerned must listen to the voice of reason in
the interest of the nation,” ACN said