The Rivers State government has re-visited the issue of the continued stay of Mr. Joseph Mbu as the state commissioner of police following its public outcry that Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s life is in danger.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Thursday and made available to journalists, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, stated that Mr. Mbu redeployed the escort commander to the governor on the alleged grounds that he had “refused his directive to ‘furnish (the CP) with prior information of the movement of Amaechi.”
The statement reads in part, “Today, Thursday September 5, 2013, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu redeployed the escort commander in charge of the convoy of the Governor of Rivers State – Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. 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.”
Mrs. Semenitari added that the development would be the first time since Amaechi assumed office in 2007 that a CP would request prior information of his movement, saying that this situation did not occur during the hey days of militants in the state thereby making it an “exception rather than the rule.”
The commissioner further explained that in an action that elicited curiosity and indicative of ulterior motives, the CP waited for Gov. Amaechi to travel out of Port Harcourt before issuing out the invitation to policemen attached to Government House, adding that Mr. Mbu’s sudden interest in the governor’s movement is suggestive of a more sinister motive.
She said, “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 and, thereby, placing him in harms’ way.”
The commissioner recalled that at different times, Mr. Mbu had compromised the governor’s security and safety and went as far as leading an attack on Government House in the wake of the House of Assembly crisis in July.
She added that “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.”
The statement said following the formal report by the governor to the police high command on his worries about CP Mbu and having waited for something to come out of his complaint to no avail, the Rivers State government has as a last resort, decided to cry out to Nigerians and the rest of the world about the threat to Gov. Amaechi’s life.
“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”, the statement read.