Wike Leads Thousands of Rivers People to Protest against Police Brutality, Killings


State govt denies allegations against Wike Bear your cross, APC tells governor
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday led thousands of people of the state to protest against what he described as the mass killings by the police and other security agencies during the December 10 rerun elections.

The peaceful protest march took off from Government House, Port Harcourt at 8a.m, moved through Azikiwe Street and Bank Road before terminating at the Rivers State Police Command headquarters on Moscow Road.

Aside Wike, Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Speaker Dabo Adams, former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, former UBA Chairman, Chief Ferdinand Alabrabra, former Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru and the state PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, joined the march.

Also on the march were commissioners, state legislators, Caretaker Committee Chairmen, women and youths.

As the thousands of protesters approached the gate of the state police command headquarters, the policemen ran into their premises, closed their gates and peeped from the openings of the gate.

Wike and the other leaders waited for close to 30 minutes before the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Cyril Okoro, came out. Even then, he spoke through the gate.

Addressing the police, Wike said the people of state were at the police command to inform the authorities that they were tired of the killings of innocent people in the state by the police and other security operatives.

He noted that the people and government of the state were particularly dissatisfied with the recklessness of two Senior Policemen, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Steven Hasso, and the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Mr. Akin Fakorede, who led the sponsored onslaught against the people of Rivers State and compromised the security architecture of the state.

Wike further stated: “If they don’t leave the state, then we will do all we can to ensure they leave this state. They must leave this state. They have killed innocent people.

He noted that the Police High Command had refused to act despite the overwhelming evidence against the duo, especially the video footage that showed Fakorede and other security operatives trying to snatch results of the Rivers East senatorial district.

The governor said the situation where security officials have transformed into politicians in uniform is quite unfortunate.
In his response, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyril Okoro, assured the governor that the Rivers State Police Command would pass the message to the Police High Command for necessary action.

Meanwhile, state government has described an audio report on Saharareporters.com in which Wike, was heard threatening an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a fabrication and outright lie.

In the audio report, Wike was said to be threatening the INEC official with death if they failed to rig the last rerun elections in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or return the money he had paid them.

Reacting to the report, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr. Austin Tam-George, accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of conniving with Saharareporters to clone the voice of the governor.
He said: “We categorically deny these latest allegations as a sick fabrication, an outright lie. Wike never made any contact with INEC officials in person or by telephone.

“Saharareporters.com is the online propaganda bullhorn of the APC. Their publications are typically false, and the writers are professional hawkers of fiction.
“No one would have thought that the APC and its cowardly media allies would resort to an audio impersonation of Governor Wike, using a voice changer technology.

However, the APC has countered the state government’s stance, asking Wike to own up and face public opinion.

The state Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, said: “Having been caught in the web of their own machinations, what do you expect Governor Wike and his commissioner to say? Often when anyone is caught pants down, the most convenient and ready response is to blame and blackmail others. The truth remains that Wike in that Saharareporters’ audio tape was caught pants down and he simply cannot find where to hide.

“It is important to state that the APC have severally in the past been brought under scrutiny by Saharareporters to the amusement of Wike and the PDP but today they have found it convenient to associate the APC with Saharareporters. That is absolute falsehood coming from an absolutely cornered man.”

The party said further: Wike should think of a better response which we doubt he has because the audio recording is clear to everyone that it is the voice of the governor threatening to kill people-a threat that doesn’t come to us as a surprise.

Our only surprise is that after nearly two years in office, Wike is still struggling with the indecorum of a street hustler.
“About this audio that has gone viral across the world via the internet, Wike should deal with it and stop rambling about.”