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Saturday, September 7, 2013

RIVERS STATE: Police Withdraw Amaechi's Escort?

Police ‘withdraw Amaechi’s escort’
After a brief lull, the row between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and state police chief Mbu Joseph Mbu resurface yesterday.
Amaechi’s escort commander has been withdrawn by the police, Commissioner for Information Ibim Semenitari claimed last night.
Police Commissioner Mbu reportedly made a request, which was not in the purview of the police officer following which he was removed from his position, Mrs. Semenitari said.
The report could not be confirmed last night as Mbu did not pick his calls.
The police authority earlier in the week declared Amaechi’s Aide-de-camp a deserter for failing to report to the Inspector General of Police as requested. But the state government said the ADC was on medical leave.
The governor’s security is threatened, the Rivers State government said in the statement, which said:
“The redeployment, according to CP Mbu, was because the Escort Commander had refused his directive to “Furnish (the CP) with prior information of the movement of the governor. The Escort Commander is not in charge of the governor’s protocol and cannot have prior knowledge of the governor’s movement, especially in the prevailing circumstances regarding security in the State.
“After redeploying the Escort Commander, CP Mbu also requested the Camp Commandant of Government House, Port Harcourt, to give him prior briefing of the governor’s daily movement – a request which in practice would be difficult to comply with, unless the Camp Commandant gets prior knowledge of the Governor’s movement.
“The Government of Rivers State is most uncomfortable with these developments and their implications for the security of Governor Amaechi. This is more so, as the developments are coming on the heels of the Rivers State Police Command’s declaration of Governor Amaechi’s ADC (which is receiving medical attention) as a deserter.
“This sudden interest of CP Mbu regarding the daily movement of Governor Amaechi cannot be borne out of love. If his intentions were noble and above board, CP Mbu has Governor Amaechi’s telephone number and could have reached him directly to make the request of prior briefing of his movements. Alternatively, he could have written officially to the Secretary to State Government to make the same request.
“This would be the first time, since Governor Amaechi assumed office in 2007, that a Police Commissioner would be requesting prior information of his movement. This was not the case even in the heyday of militancy in Rivers State. As far as we know, this is an exception rather than the rule.
“The fact that CP Mbu waited for the Governor to travel out of Port Harcourt to issue the invitation to policemen attached to Government House is curious and indicative of ulterior motives. His sudden interest in the Governor’s movement is suggestive of a more sinister motive.
“ CP Mbu has not hidden the fact that he holds Governor Amaechi in disdain and would stop at nothing to either harm him or aid those planning to harm him. After all, in May 2013, he allowed ex-militants to barricade the gate into the Government House after parading major streets of Port Harcourt.
“He has even acknowledged before the media that he found nothing wrong in fraternizing with militants.
“We suspect that the request for daily prior briefing on the Governor’s movement may be to furnish strange persons with necessary details of his movement, thereby placing him in harms’ way.
“ At different times, CP Mbu has compromised Governor Amaechi’s security and safety, and even personally led an attack on Government House, Port Harcourt on July 10, 2013. As Commissioner of Police, CP Mbu, refuses to brief the Governor, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state, on the state of security in Rivers State.
“We, therefore, wish to alert Nigerians and the rest of the world that CP Mbu should be held responsible should anything evil happen to the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, any principal officer or top government functionary in Rivers State. We believe that his current actions are sufficient warning to us “as a tree that cries out cannot kill anyone on its path”.
Source: The Nation
UPDATE: IG ordered us to remove Amaechi's escort - Police

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi
The Rivers Police said it only acted on orders from Abuja.
The Rivers State Police Command on Friday defended its role in the ongoing Rives crisis, saying it was the Inspector General of Police, IG, Mohammed Abubakar, that ordered the redeployment of the security details of Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
The Rivers State Government on Thursday night through a statement signed by the Commissioner of Information and Technology, Ibim Semenitari, raised an alarm that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Joseph Mbu was taking measures it believed were endangering the life of Mr. Amaechi.
The state accused Mr. Mbu of making curious, discreet inquiries about the governor’s movements; and redeploying the police officer in charge of Mr. Amaechi’s convoy for failing to furnish Mr. Mbu with details about the governor’s movement.
While responding to the claims by the Rivers government, the spokesperson for the Rivers Police, Angela Agabe, told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Abubakar ordered that all escort commanders, camp commandant and all other details attached to every state government house across the nation cease to bear such titles and thus be redeployed and replaced.
“A signal from the Force Headquarters said that all officers occupying such posts should, with immediate effect, be redeployed and replaced and it is not only in Rivers state, its applicable to the 36 states in the country,” Ms. Agabe said
The state government also accused Mr. Mbu of compromising the governor’s security and safety on various occasions, saying that the police boss in May allowed ex-militants to barricade the gate into the Government House after parading major streets of Port Harcourt; thus proving that Mr. Mbu held the governor in disdain.
Ms. Agabe denied the accusation and insisted that the police commissioner could not have allowed militants to attack the governor and would not do anything to jeopardise the governor’s security.
However, the Rivers Information Commissioner, Ibim Semenitari, on Friday, countered Ms. Agabe’s “excuses”; saying they were hard to believe. She said they were not the same reasons given when the governor’s Escort Commander and the Camp Commandant were summoned to the police headquarters; and when the governor personally called Mr. Mbu to complain about the removal of his escort commander.
“Even if, for the purposes of argument, it were indeed factual that the Inspector General of police ordered the redeployment of Governor Amaechi’s Escort Commander, wouldn’t the courteous thing be for the Commissioner of Police and the police high command to inform and explain this to Governor Amaechi?” she asked.
She then insisted, “On matters of his personal security, a governor reserves the right to reject or accept security details as he may be comfortable with.”
She stated that the Rivers government was reluctant to accept what it considers a lame and unsatisfactory argument by the Rivers State Police Command.
Meanwhile, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who speaks for the Nigerian Police and Mr. Abubakar, is yet to confirm the reasons offered by Ms. Agabe. Phone calls and text messages to his phone were not answered.
Mr. Amaechi, had, at the onset of the Rivers crisis, called for the redeployment of Mr. Mbu from Rivers accusing the police chief of bias in the political crisis in the state and of relative incompetence in the discharge of his duties.
Source: Premium Times