The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked President Goodluck
Jonathan to urgently put an end to the worsening reign of impunity in
Rivers State, which is being carried out under his watch by those who
are obviously acting to impress him and the First Lady.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National
Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the call has
become even more imperative, following the irresponsible act of
brigandage by the police, which stopped a peaceful and lawful rally
billed for the Obio Akpor Local Government Area of the state today by
the Save Rivers Movement (SRM), an organization campaigning against
the impunity of the PDP-controlled Federal Government against the
government and people of Rivers State.
”The police went to the venue of the rally, pulled down the erected
canopies and fired tear gas at everyone around there and even into
nearby homes, with the result that five children are now feared to
have died from suffocation due to this shameful Gestapo-style action
of the police, who are being funded by taxpayers to protect the lives
and property of the same citizens they are now brutalizing and
”Not only that, they injured the Chief of Staff to Gov. Chibuike
Amaechi and fired a supposed rubber bullet, at point blank range, at
Senator Magnus Abe, who is now gravely injured. The Senator is
believed to have been deliberately targeted for attack by the police.
”We understand that the exceptional brutal clampdown on the planned
rally by the police, who seem to have now surpassed even their own act
of brutality against the people of the state, was aimed at impressing
the First Lady, believed to be due in Port Harcourt on the same day
(Sunday),” it said.
The APC said there is no way a Commissioner of Police in any state
will be so bold as to be waging a war against an elected Governor and
his aides/supporters if he is not empowered to do so by higher
authorities, and that everyone knows that the impenitent Rivers Police
Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu believes he is now the de facto Governor
of Rivers because he has the support of the Presidency to exhibit
”Mbu, who is going down in Nigeria’s history as a classic example of
an officer of the law turned the biggest violator of the law, has not
only defied the resolutions of the National Assembly, he has also
thumbed his nose at the ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Labour
Congress (NLC). He is the Alternate Inspector General of the Police
who takes orders only from a conniving presidency,” the party said.
It said the only reason the impunity in Rivers could have continued
unabated is because it is a dress rehearsal for what is being planned
for 2015, hence the APC has continued to raise the alarm over the
instigated crisis in Rivers.
”Since this reign of impunity started, the Rivers Governor has been
barred from accessing his official residence by the police; Members of
the State House of Assembly have been tear-gassed and harassed
endlessly; the plane owned by the state government has been grounded,
using the institutions of state; and even a chartered plane bearing
the Governor has been prevented from takeoff, not minding that the
member of the state House of Assembly which the plane was supposed to
be carrying was not on board. No one has apologized for this chutzpah.
”This is all happening under the watch of a President who has been
widely quoted as saying his ambition is not worth the blood of any
Nigerian. The statement now rings hollow, considering what is
happening in Rivers and elsewhere, which is widely regarded as a sign
of things to come ahead of 2015.
”President Jonathan should act today to bring Rivers State and indeed
Nigeria back from the brink of lawlessness. His body language must
discourage the likes of Mbu from turning Nigerian into a lawless
nation. He must differentiate his position as the leader of the PDP
from his perch as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,”