—–describes Gov. Wike’s allegation against SARS, as nonsense
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris Thursday said that the police hierarchy was in touch with the State governors from the South East for them to mobilize political leaders on how to intervene in the charged security situation the zone.
The IGP stated this in an interview with State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The police boss said that the highlight of the meeting with Vice President was to “obviously ensure that our provision of security in the country is intact.”
When asked whether he was monitoring events in the south east and the strategies he had adopted so far to restore peace, he said, “Obviously, one, is to deploy policemen across the country. Two, we are in touch with the states government, trying to mobilize the political leadership to be able to intervene where necessary on how to lessen the tension in the south east.”
Also asked what was his reaction to the allegation credited to the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike to the effect that most of the crimes committed in the State were carried out by the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, IGP Idris said that as a governor, Wike has right to self expression.
But when asked further whether he was denying the allegation, he said, “Of course I have to deny that, that is nonsense. I have to deny that.”
Also reminded that Governor Wike was holding a picture of the policemen killed to buttress his point while making the allegations, the IGP said, “If a policeman was killed will you say he was involved in crime? I think you are mixing two different issues.
“A policeman was killed in Rivers in connection with this IPOB issue, is different from saying the policemen are involved in crime. You cannot say someone that was attacked and killed is the one involved in crime.”
On the allegation by the Governor that the police officer was one of the three men that were suspected to be members of SARS who were attempting to kidnap someone and he died in the process, he said, “Who is the person they were attempting to kidnap?”
On whether his answers were an indication that the governor in the allegation was not making sense, the Police boss said, “I just want you to read between the lines. If you have leaders making sweeping allegations obviously it does not make sense. I don’t want to comment on it.”
Also asked the preparations on ground by the police under his headship to reduce tension in the polity as October 1st was around the corner, he said, “I don’t think there is tension in the country. Which country this Nigeria? No. Nigeria does not have attention. At least you are in Abuja you have gone around there is no tension.”
Governor Wike was recently quoted to said that most of the kidnapping and armed robbery incidents in Rivers State were being perpetrated by operatives of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
SARS which is a special unit of the Nigeria police force was often accused of extra-judicial killings from dingy cell rooms amid human rights violations.
According to the Governor, the Police Signal stated that SARS was responsible for series of kidnappings and deadly robbery operations across the State.
The Governor while addressing journalists on Wednesday at the Government House Port Harcourt, allegedly claimed that the SARS Commander in the state was planted to sabotage the security architecture of Rivers and create an atmosphere of chaos and fear.