Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and his guests mainly former speakers in the country were last night barred by Policemen, from accessing the governor’s residence through the private gate of the state Government House, Port Harcourt.
Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, speaking to Vanguard on phone condemned the action, saying that the governor and his guests were forced by the Police allegedly on the orders of the State Police Commissioner, Mr Joseph Mbu to go through the main gate of the Government House.
Describing the action of the state Police boss as an abuse of federalism and political authority, the commissioner said no official explanation was adduced for the action of the state Police command.
Wondering why the governor of the state should be stopped from accessing his residence through the private gate of the Government House, Semenitari said the action of the Police was strange and a violation of the tenets of popular democracy.
“This happened around 8pm this night (last night). The Police stopped the governor and his guests, former Speakers in the country from accessing the governor’s residence through his private gate. The governor had to go through the main gate. This is a clear abuse of federalism, power and rule of law,” Mrs Semenitari said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Angela Agabe, however, denied the allegation. According to her, the Police only stopped Governor Amaechi’s faction of the PDP from setting up their secretariat at 38 Forces Avenue, a building opposite the old GRA Police station.
The Forces Avenue road where the secretariat is located connects the back gate of the Government House, which serves as the private gate of the governor.
Another top security officer said the Police had to act on a clear instruction that they should stop any attempt by the Amaechi’s faction to set up a factional secretariat of the PDP in the state because there is only one legitimate PDP in the country.
The source said further that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mbu had not been in the state for some days so there was no way he could have ordered that the governor be stopped from accessing his residence through the back gate.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Semenitari said a total of 102 former Speakers were with the governor when the incident occurred.
“102 former Speakers were with the governor when it happened”, she said.