A team of four northern governors on a solidarity visit to their Rivers State counterpart, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, have unequivocally called for the immediate redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in the state, Joseph Mbu, over what they described as his unprofessionalism and political partisanship in the crises beleaguering the state.
In a communiqué issued to journalists shortly before they drove out of the Government House in the company of Mr. Amaechi, the governors; Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), said following their interaction with stakeholders in the state, it was evident that Mr. Mbu was being used to persecute Mr. Amaechi.
“We wish to call on the Inspector General of Police to hearken to the voices of reason and immediately redeploy and discipline Commissioner Joseph Mbu,” the statement said.
“His action smacks of unprofessionalism and political partisanship which is unbecoming of his office.”
Sounding tough, the governors threatened to reconsider their earlier commitment made at the last National Economic Council (NEC) meeting to contribute part of their federal allocations towards the funding of the police if the Rivers police chief was not removed and sanctioned.
“With the way the police is being used and abused, and with officers like Mbu in the bus, we do not see the need for state governments to fund an antagonistic police and may be forced to reconsider our position on the financial contribution of states towards the funding of the Nigerian police,” the governors said.
They also revived the debate over the establishment of state police for the country; citing Federal Government’s penchant of using federal police to persecute its political enemies.
“Arising from the action of the police, and Joseph Mbu in Rivers State, the call for state police as a constitutional provision has become a necessity,” the statement added.
“We note that the events in Rivers state have again brought to the fore the issue of true federalism and the need for institutions derived from the Constitutions to be allowed to function without undue interference. As federating units, we must be allowed the space to guarantee our people’s sustainable development as provided by the Constitution.”
The governors commended Mr. Amaechi for his “maturity and calm even in the face of apparent persecution”just as they also hailed the House of Representatives for its proactive leadership in wading into the Rivers crisis and the Senate for its thoroughness in addressing the matter.
They called on the warring parties in the State to “defuse tension and stop all actions capable of overheating the polity and derailing our nascent democracy”.
“We must all work together to build one united and indivisible nation nation and strengthen our democracy,” they said.