By Iyalla Adaye,
Rivers state Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike yesterday led thousands of supporters to stage a protest over alleged police high handedness in the just concluded legislative re-run election.
The protesters also accused the police of killing PDP members and demanded the transfer of two policemen alleged to be masterminds of the police attacks.
The protest, which was peaceful, started from Government House to Azikiwe street and Bank Road before terminating at the Police command headquarters on Moscow road in the city centre.
Addressing the police, Mr. Wike told the state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyril Okoro, that people of the state were fed up with killings by some policemen and other security operatives.
“On behalf of the Rivers Government and good people of the state, we have to let the police know that enough is enough.
“We demand that Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, Mr Steven Hasso and the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Akin Fakorede be posted out of the state.
“We have come here peacefully to communicate this demand and urge that this request is communicated to Police headquarters in Abuja because I (Wike) have written repeatedly (to IGP).
“Please, I don’t want people to die anymore and definitely do not want corrupt senior police officers posted to Rivers state,” he said.
Mr. Wike said the police had refused to sanction the two policemen in spite video footage which purported to show the duo and other security operatives attempting to snatch results of the Rivers East Senatorial District.
The governor described as unfortunate and worrisome a situation where policemen who are supposed to be non-partisan paraded themselves as politicians in uniform.
According to him, the biased security operatives must be posted out of the state.
“If they don’t leave the state, then we will do all we can to ensure that they leave this state because they have killed innocent people,” the governor claimed.
In his response, Cyril Okoro, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Rivers assured Mr. Wike that the command will deliver the message to the Inspector General Police for possible action.
Some senior government officials who participated in the protest included Rivers Deputy Gov. Ipalibo Banigo; House Speaker, Dabo Adams, ex-Minister of Transport, Abiye Sekibo and former Deputy Gov. Tele Ikuru.
Others include PDP state Chairman, Felix Obuah, former United Bank of Africa Chairman, Ferdinand Alabrabra and commissioners and state legislators.