Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcourt
All the twenty one (21) Police officers in the escort unit of the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike have been arrested and whisked to the Forces Headquarters, Abuja on the order of the Inspector General of police, IGP, Abubakar Idriss.
The affected officers were alleged to have shot sporadically into the air on December 11 at a collation center for the Rivers East Senatorial district during the rerun legislative election a fortnight ago.
But a dependable Police source revealed that the underlining reason behind the arrest was their refusal to immediately proceed on a transfer shortly before the last rerun election in which the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, won two out of the three senatorial districts.
According to the source, the transfer of the 21 man team of the Governor’s escort was planned to psychologically weaken and destabilize Wike during the election. “It was part of several other moves to prepare grounds for the rigging of the election by the APC”.
The escort commander was alleged to have been issued a query for the alleged gunshot which he had since responded to. “But this was a case of taking a cockroach to the court of a cock”, the source said.
In his response to the query, the escort commander was said to have denied the allegation of sporadic shooting leveled against his unit, citing several orders and protocols which forbid Governor’s escort from releasing fire, except on extreme situations, which was not the case in reference.
Rivers state government had severally accused the men of special anti-robbery squad, SARS, led by their commander, CSP Akin Fakorode that engaged the officials of the independent national electoral commission, INEC, to allegedly rig the election for the APC in the Rivers east senatorial district. They shot to scare away people.
When contacted, the Rivers state police public relations officer, PPRO, Nnamdi Omoni denied any knowledge of such development. “I am not aware. To the best of my knowledge I am not aware of such thing yet”, he said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Wike has reaffirmed that the violence that marred the rerun elections in the state was orchestrated by security agencies with a motive to making the state ungovernable for politically motivated reasons.
The governor also announced that the Police High Command had arrested all his personal police details who accompanied him to stop SARS Commander Akin Fakorede from rigging Rivers East Senatorial District. He said that all the said policemen have been detained in Abuja by the Police High Command.
The governor addressed members of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council who paid him a Goodwill Christmas Visit on Tuesday.
He said that the Police High Command is insisting that the policemen shouldn’t have accompanied him to stop Fakorede.
Governor Wike explained that he was compelled to take action because the previous day, policemen and soldiers were used by the APC at Ikwerre LGA to beat up PDP agents and force Collation Officers to concoct results.
“The security agencies orchestrated plans to cause violence with a view to making the state ungovernable for ulterior motives.
“As I speak with you, all my personal police details who accompanied me to stop Fakorede from successfully rigging the Rivers East Senatorial District election have been arrested and detained in Abuja “.
The governor drew the attention of Nigerians to the fact that Rivers State has been peaceful since the conclusion of the rerun elections.
He said: “Look at how peaceful Rivers State has become after the elections. Why was the election violent? It is because they wanted particular candidates to win and they wanted to rig in favour of such candidates.
“I was called to share seats. I said I will not participate in such a fraud. I insisted that the votes must count. Let everyone go for elections “
The governor berated INEC for conniving with APC to print fake result sheets ahead of the elections. He noted that INEC and Police have swept the matter under the carpet.
He informed that many INEC staff who were victims of violence by security agencies are under pressure from the electoral commission to deny the physical assault on them .