by Chukwu Obi
The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr. Dan Bature, has advised the state government not to reduce security issues in the state to comical entertainment. The state police boss who spoke, yesterday, in reaction to allegations of bias levelled against him by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, wondered how cult related killings in the state suddenly became attack on members of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
Bature, in a statement, dismissed the allegations by the governor that the Police arrested several members of the APC in the state, adding that the allegation by the governor that he re-deployed policemen attached to the state governorship candidate of the APC, Dr Dakuku Peterside, was untrue.
He said: “We are constrained to respond to the spurious and wispy allegations against us and false alarm raised by Governor Amaechi, to the effect that the command exposes Dr Peterside, the Rivers State APC governorship candidate to danger by withdrawing policemen attached to him, unsubstantiated killings and plan to arrest supporters of his party.
“We should be mindful of the fact that security issues are not matters for comical entertainment. It is strongly believed that the vituperations are frustrating signs of the state government’s inability to pressure the command to release hardened criminals involved in heinous cases of murder, deadly cult activities, unlawful firearms possession, kidnappings and sundry acts of lawlessness that ordinarily would have been charged to court but for the industrial action of the Rivers State Judiciary workers.
“It is on record that since my assumption of duty as the commissioner of Police six months ago, I have remained focused and committed to performing my constitutional duties and responsibilities of protecting lives and property amongst others. I have refused to be provoked or drawn into unnecessary responses to the avalanche of unsubstantiated allegations, in most cases wild imaginations, that are predicated on falsehood that seem to be the penchant of the state government.
“However, while I do not intend to dignify the false alarms raised in the recent press briefing by the state government, it is necessary to put the records straight. “Redeployment of C4i Policemen from Peterside to their traditional duties of fighting violent crimes and their immediate replacement with the elite Special Protection Unit, SPU, has now been attributed to withdrawal of the policemen attached to him.
“Cases of cultists related clashes that sometime resulted in deaths have suddenly been attributed to killing of political party supporters. The alleged killing of seven supporters of a political party is unfounded as the command has not received any such report. “Arrests made in respect of cases of unlawful possession of firearms, robbery, cultism and murder are now attributed to politics.
Six suspects arrested and charged to court for unlawful possession of firearms have now become over 400 supporters of a political party in our custody. The allegation of the purported plan to arrest 307 leaders of a political party is nothing but a ruse to whip up public sympathy. The command has no plan to arbitrarily arrest anybody. Anyone who is not planning to cause or foster violence or breach of public peace has no cause to fear or raise false alarm.
“The Command remains focused in its mandate to serve and protect the people and overall interest of the state. No amount of distractions would deter us from performing our constitutional assigned roles.”