WIKE, AMAECHI’S BATTLE ADVANCES TO NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The running battle between Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has shifted to the National Assembly.
It was exclusively gathered in Port Harcourt yesterday that the 10 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members in the House of Representatives from Rivers State were plotting against the operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) in the state, particularly the Commander, Akin Fakorede, regarded by Wike and his supporters as Amaechi’s ally.
In the latest phase of the unending supremacy battle, the PDP federal lawmakers, led by Kingsley Chinda, an ally of Wike and representative of Obio/Akpor Constituency in the House of Representatives, have sponsored a motion that culminated in a letter written by the House to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, alleging various acts of misdemeanour against Fakorede and his men.
Only recently, the authorities of Obio/Akpor Local Government in the state issued an eviction letter to F-SARS in the state, asking Fakorede and his men to vacate the facility that housed their offices; a move believed to have had the guiding hand of the governor who sees Fakorede as an ally of Amaechi and other APC chieftains in the state.
Fakorede was said to have responded by saying that he and his men would not vacate the facility in question because it was purposely built to house their offices.
The F-SARS boss is believed to have ruffled many feathers in the state’s PDP for disarming many of the party’s thugs and making life uncomfortable for them.
The House of Representatives’ letter with reference number NASS/CNA/105/Vol. 23/123, addressed to the IGP and signed by the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly, Olayide Adelami, and obtained by our correspondent in Port Harcourt, was titled “Need to Investigate Acts of Harassment, Torture, Extra-Judicial Killings and other Unwholesome Practices of the F-SARS in Rivers State (HR.98/2017.”
Adelami’s letter to Idris reads: “The purpose of this letter is to convey the resolution of the House to you for further necessary action. The House of Representatives deliberated on the above subject matter and consequently resolved to condemn in very strong terms, the acts of harassment, torture, extra-judicial killings and other unwholesome practices by operatives of F-SARS in Rivers State and indeed other parts of the country.”
It added: “Victims of F-SARS operations in Rivers State alleged that F-SARS operatives are usually armed with guns, axes, machetes and other dangerous weapons and employ various malevolent methods, including planting illicit drugs and other incriminating items and objects on unsuspecting victims and also go about with Point Of Sale (POS) machines, with which they coerce unsuspecting victims to make money transfers in their favour.
“Aware that there are also several reported cases of harassment, torture, extra-judicial killings and other unwholesome practices by operatives of F-SARS in Port Harcourt and its environs, some rescued victims of kidnapping have consistently pointed at F-SARS operatives as being responsible for most of the kidnappings in Rivers State, particularly along the East-West Road and Owerri-Port Harcourt Expressway.
“Worried that a security outfit as F-SARS is being turned into a violent terror contraption, whose victims are usually left entirely at the ‘mercy’ of the F-SARS officers, until they are able to ‘bail’ themselves, while others are instantly shot dead, as seen in the Rumuakunde, Emohua incident.”
The federal lawmakers also alleged that the IGP had consistently failed, refused and/or neglected to investigate the “grave indictments” of the F-SARS, claiming that the negative testimonies continued unabated.
They noted that the acts, if not immediately checked, could lead to anarchy and in turn negatively affect society and cause despondency in the minds of people and residents of Rivers State and the teeming Nigerian masses.
The Reps alleged that the acts of the operatives of F-SARS had negatively affected and reduced the image and reputation of the Nigeria Police Force before the rest of the world.
Contacted for his reaction, Fakorede, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), declined comment, saying that at the appropriate time, his detailed response would be made available to the members of the House of Representatives.
Last Saturday, Wike and Amaechi, a former Rivers governor, alleged assassination attempts against each other following a bloody clash involving policemen attached to them at the Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, had described the clash as a “minor traffic infraction,” stressing that the meeting of the two eminent personalities’ convoys was coincidental, adding that there was no attempt to assassinate either of the two Ikwerre sons.
Chairman of the PDP in Rivers, Chief Felix Obuah, alleged that Fakorede led operatives of F-SARS to the scene to assassinate Wike, but the Rivers Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Davies Ikanya, said the allegation was not only misguided but callous, malicious and vindictive.