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Posts tagged ‘Mbu Joseph’

Amaechi, New Rivers CP Ogunsakin Say No To Partisanship.


 

CP Ogunsakin
By SaharaReporters, New York

Newly appointed Rivers State Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin has promised to prosecute the state’s security affairs without bias to either the All Progressives Congress (APC), which Governor Rotimi Amaechi is a member of, or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Speaking in Port Harcourt during an official visit to the governor, Ogunsakin assured that he would police the state without bias, as both the president and the governor have their respective roles in ridding the state of crimes.

“The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is the Chief Security Officer of the Federation while the Inspector General of Police is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Federation”, he said.

“Also, in a state, the Executive Governor is the Chief Security Officer and the Commissioner of Police is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the State. This relationship is definitely best appreciated when it is harnessed to ensure peace and tranquillity in the state”.

Ogunsakin revealed his intention to collaborate with various communities, non-governmental organisations, and all other stakeholders. The result of this, he enthused, would be an objective, liberal, firm and non-partisan policing of the state.

“I will deploy my expertise to manage the affairs of the Rivers State Police Command in the best possible professional manner”, he assured. “I will strategically marshal a formidable operational plan that will speedily arrest the trend of all forms of criminality, particularly violent crimes in the state”.

Amaechi himself stated the readiness of the state government to cooperate with the Police in restoring law and order. But he noted that this would be impossible were the Police to support either of the two parties battling for the reins of the state in 2015.

“We are willing to cooperate with the Police to restore law and order. The only thing we need is for the Police to have the courage to restore law and order”, he said.

“The Police must do whatever it takes to restore law and order. Don’t support PDP, and don’t also support APC; just support Rivers people. Please don’t obey any illegal order from the Rivers State Government. What we want is a neutral police commissioner who is firm and [who] understands that the state needs to accommodate everybody — not one that loves to be in any of the political parties”.

Amaechi endured a rancorous relationship with former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mubu, who was believed to be working for President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, notoriously banning all forms of political rallies in the state and proscribing activities of such pro-Amaechi groups as the Grassroots Development Initiative, Save Rivers Movement, and the Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation, among many other blatant use of Police apparatus to negate pro-Amaechi individuals and associations.

Police arrest 320 Boko Haram suspects in Rivers.


 

Police-militant

Harcourt, Rivers State, on Sunday, as the state police command confirmed the arrest of 320 Boko Haram suspects.
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Though details were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, Nigerian Tribune gathered that the suspects were arrested from a convoy of 17 commuter buses, all coming from Jigawa State.

However, sources at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) confirmed that the arrest was made after a tip-off.

According to the sources, the suspects, arrested in the convoy led by one Bala Marto Danbam, were all travelling in buses belonging to a transportation company owned by a former Inspector General of Police.

 

“The arrest started from about 1.00 a.m till about 7.00 a.m at different points; some were arrested as they were entering the state boundary, while others were arrested from places like Mile One and other parts of Port Harcourt.

“Three hundred and twenty of them, men and women, were arrested and the manner of the travelling was deemed suspicious; so many people in those buses and at that time of the day was suspicious,” the source said.

When reached for comments, the state Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, confirmed the development, adding that the state command would not comment on the matter yet for security reason.

“It’s a top security issue. I don’t know how you got the information and I won’t ask you, but there cannot be any comment now from the Rivers police command until we finish the investigation. I will make no comment,” Mbu said.

It could not be confirmed if arms or other incriminating objects had been discovered with the suspects, but they, alongside the buses that conveyed them, were inside the premises of the police department.

Nigerian Tribune observed that security had been tightened around the SCID on Sunday evening, as movements into and around the area were under close watch.

Journalists who tried to access the premises were strictly barred by policemen on guard.

It was also observed that the areas close to the SCID premises were thronged by people believed to be friends and kinsmen of the arrested suspects.

Meanwhile, the Northern States’ Governors Forum has charged security agencies to end the killing of defenseless citizens, especially in the North-East region, where suspected Boko Haram members have continued their bloody campaign since 2009.

Chairman of the forum and Niger State governor, Dr Babangida Aliyu, in Minna, on Sunday, noted that members of the forum were concerned at the renewed attacks, which had killed 18 persons around Maiduguri.

“The forum is particularly alarmed that the shooting to death of 18 persons in Njaba, Mude, Kwaljiri and Kaya villages in Borno followed the same pattern, as previous midnight attacks on towns and villages in the region,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

According to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, Aliyu described the fresh attacks as “horrendous, callous and inhuman.”

He also called on security agencies to halt the incessant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the region.

Written by Bolaji Ogundele -Port Harcourt

Source: Radio Biafra.

Rivers State Crisis: APC To Block Legislative Proposals, Including 2014 Budget, In National Assembly.


By SaharaReporters, New York

In response to the situation in Rivers State and other constitutional breaches by the Presidency, the All Progressives Congress (APC) today directed its members in the National Assembly to block all legislative proposals, including the 2014 Budget and confirmation of all nominees to military and civilian positions to public office, until the rule of law and constitutionalism is restored.
The party also decided that if acts of impunity and lawlessness continue in the State and the Police persist in being an enforcement arm of the PDP to the detriment of its members, it would ask its teeming members all over the country and especially in Rivers to take whatever steps are necessary to protect their lives and property.

The unprecedented decisions arose at the 8th regular meeting of the APC Interim National Executive Committee.

According to a statement by the party’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the event was attended by top party leaders, including General Muhammadu Buhari Rtd, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as well as the Governors of Rivers, Lagos, Edo, Nasarawa, Kwara, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Sokoto, Ekiti and Ogun States.  Also present were the Deputy Governors of Oyo, Imo, Kano and Zamfara States, members of the Interim NEC, as well as the leadership of the party in the National Assembly.  The meeting was chaired by the Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.

Mohammed said the NEC commended the courage, maturity and political sagacity of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in the face of serial unprovoked and unwarranted assaults on his person, his constitutional rights and those of the Government and People of Rivers State.

“The conduct of Governor Amaechi represents our Party’s maturity and compliance with the rule of law in response to escalating impunity,” he said.  “The APC is very proud of him.”

It noted that any cursory observer of events in the state since February 2013 would be left in no doubt as to the culture of lawlessness and impunity being promoted and supported by the Presidency, and executed by the State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, who has become the de facto military Governor of Rivers State and sole administrator of the PDP in the State.

He cited instances of the brazen lawlessness and violations of the Constitution in the state to include the forceful dispersal of 13,201 newly recruited teachers in the Port Harcourt Stadium using tear gas; blockading the entrance to the Government House in Port Harcourt and forcing the State Governor to use another entrance; preventing an aircraft chartered by the State Governor from taking off, alleging that the Governor was trying to smuggle out a legislator wanted by the Police, for which no apology was offered to the Governor; the disruption of a peaceful rally during which Senator Magnus Abe was shot with intent to kill; the several disruptions of Save Rivers Group rallies, and the unlawful detention of anybody perceived to be a sympathizer of Governor Rotimi Amaechi, while allowing pro-Jonathan and Anti-Amaechi groups to organize rallies unmolested.

APC’s new decisions could start to have an immediate impact in the country in view of the recent change in the dynamics of the legislature, where power now tilts in its favour.  In the House of Representatives, the numbers are now on the side of the APC following the defection of many members from the PeoplesDemocratic Party, while several members are also set to defect in the Senate.

Three days ago, nearly half of the Senate membership wrote a letter to their leadership warning against underground efforts to declare vacant the seats of those members who choose to join other political parties.

In the past, members who defected to the PDP were warmly welcomed and treated as heroes, but they did not have their seats declared vacant as the PDP is now considering doing.  The matter is in court.

Recuperating Senator Abe Writes The Senate, Condemns Attack On Supporters, Saying He Survived A Serious Attack By The Police.


 

Senator Magnus Abe
By SaharaReporters, New York

Senator Magnus Abe, who was shot with a rubber bullet by the Police at a Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally in Port Harcourt over a week ago, has condemned last Sunday’s attack on supporters of Governor Rotimi Amaechi at Bori

In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Honour Sirawoo, Senator Abe (Rivers South-East Senatorial District) lamented that instead of implementing the UNEP report on Ogoniland, the Federal Government choose to arm youths with guns worth millions to kill fellow human beings.

He expressed gratitude to friends, well-meaning individual Nigerians and groups for their support following his ordeal, and thanked them for their prayers, phone calls, solidarity messages and support, praying to God for their protection in these dangerous times.

Having faced violence before and emerged victorious, he called for forgiveness as well as focus on set goals, stressing that the law as impossible as it may look today, will one day take its course.

“Every gun has a life span of over a hundred years, our politics may change,” he said. “As today’s friends become opponents tomorrow, the guns will also change hands; but they will still remain lethal, even against their present owners.”

Abe, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) maintained that rather than encourage violence in order to gain relevance in politics, he will continue to arm his supporters, just like his children, with school fees, laptops, prayers and the fear of God.

SEE RAW LETTER SENT TO THE SENATE PRESIDENT DAVID MARK

 

Anarchy Looms In Rivers As President Sits Idly By, APC Warns.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned of the impending anarchy in Rivers that may have far-reaching consequences beyond the state, unless President Goodluck Jonathan urgently reins in his supporters who, backed by a gross-partisan police, have now resorted to bringing in ex-militants from neighbouring states to attack innocent people in Rivers.

“Having lost confidence in the ability of the police to protect them and keenly aware of the President’s deliberate refusal to allow peace to reign in their state, the patience of the people of Rivers is wearing thin, and there is an increasing possibility that they may resort to self help, which can only result in a blood bath,” the party warned in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

“Because we abhor anarchy, which is the very antithesis of democracy, we hereby call, for the umpteenth time, on President Jonathan to act today to stop the looming anarchy in Rivers unless of course he is bent on throwing the country he was elected to govern into chaos,” it said.

APC also warned that the decision of the desperate pro-Jonathan politicians and their supporters in Rivers to resort to ferrying in ex-militants from Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom to cause mayhem in Rivers and make it ungovernable for Gov. Chibuike Amaechi will have far-reaching consequences in the months ahead, most serious of which is that it will revive militancy not only in Rivers but in the entire South-South.

“The ex-militants, who are being hired daily by the anarchists in Rivers today, will turn against them and the people tomorrow when, one way or the other, the present situation in the state is resolved. The outcome will be a resurgence of insecurity, including hostage taking and attacks on oil and other infrastructure, in the entire region. This is why we are warning those who believe they are having a free rein today to tarry a while and retrace their steps,” the party said.

It expressed absolute shock that a President who has been widely quoted as saying his political ambition is not worth the blood of any citizen is now standing by, pretending to be oblivious to the happenings around him, as the same citizens’ blood is being used to water his ambition to have a second term in office.

“This President has deliberately refused to listen to the calls by numerous individuals and organisations, including the opposition parties, labour unions and the National Assembly for peace to be allowed to reign in Rivers. He has tacitly egged on the police to champion the worsening impunity in the state and even thumbed his nose at the Constitution, while the Police Service Commission has suddenly lost its steam and is even defending the arrowhead of the anarchy in Rivers.

“It is instructive that while the police have stood by and allowed hired ex-militants to attack innocent citizens whose only offence is that they are exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of association, movement and speech, the same police have provided protection for pro-Jonathan and anti-Amaechi elements who have turned the state into a battle ground.

“Twice in eight days, peaceful rallies organized by the Save Rivers Movement have been brutally broken up by police-backed hoodlums, who shot at innocent citizens including women and children; a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been shot and is now being treated in a foreign hospital and, as we write this press release, hoodlums brought in from Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom have gathered at different points in Port Harcourt to protest any attempt to remove Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu, the man who is now using the police against the same people they are paid to protect,” APC said.

The party also chronicled, for the record, the series of impunity that has helped prepared the ground for the looming anarchy in Rivers:

– Mbu practically provided the needed backing for a group of hired thugs and ex-militants with dangerous weapons to unlawfully and forcefully invade the Rivers State House of Assembly to terrorize its members, sack them and other management staff members from the complex and prevent the lawful exercise of legislative functions.

– A caretaker committee lawfully set up for Obi/Akpor Local Government Area was prevented from delivering governance to the people due to the sealing of the LGA secretariat by police operatives acting under Mr. Mbu’s directive.

– Security details were withdrawn from the principal members of the state government, including but not limited to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Attorney-General and principal judicial officers of the state.

– Mbu again provided cover for a sponsored protest by over 5,000 ex-militants and other criminal elements brandishing dangerous weapons to completely take over and parade the streets of Port Harcourt, thereby creating fear and an atmosphere reminiscent of pre-amnesty siege in the minds of right-thinking residents.

– Mbu almost engineered an unnecessary but deadly riot by directing his men to restrain over 500 people – including traditional rulers – from the Orashi communities of Rivers State from paying a scheduled and legitimate courtesy and solidarity visit to the State Governor at Government House, Port Harcourt.

– A potential bloodbath at the Island Community of Bonny was averted only by the maturity exhibited by the young members of the Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation in the face of serial provocation by members of the Rivers State Police Command.

– When five colleagues of Governor Amaechi – who felt they were exercising their constitutional  rights of free movement and association – had the temerity to pay him a solidarity visit in Port Harcourt, they were molested and humiliated at the Port Harcourt Airport by hired thugs under the protection of Mr. Mbu.

– Police operatives used tear gas to cause a potentially-deadly stampede through the forceful dispersal of 13,201 newly-recruited and trained teachers who had gathered at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt for the final round of their training, orientation, mobilization and deployment to primary and secondary schools.

– The Rivers State Command, acting on the orders of Mbu, blockaded a road leading to the Government House in Port Harcourt, forcing the Governor’s convoy to turn back and take another route to his official residence.

– Police prevented a plane chartered by the Governor from taking off ostensibly because it was carrying a lawmaker said to be wanted by the police. When the lawmaker was not found on the plane, no apology was issued to the Governor.

“We have decided to remind Nigerians how the situation in Rivers state got to the present dangerous level, even as calls by the nation’s lawmakers, labour unions and other well-meaning Nigerians for the redeployment of Mbu have fallen on deaf ears.

“Our party has also intervened numerous times to warn the nation that President Jonathan is using Rivers as a testing ground for fascism, especially ahead of the 2015 general elections, all seemingly to no avail as the crisis has worsened instead of abating.

“It is in this light that we reiterate our fears of a looming anarchy, which is the outcome of months of impunity, as the man who swore to an oath to ensure the welfare and security of all citizens – the raison d’etre for any government – has now become the quiet sponsor of violence against the same citizens. It is time to stop the madness in Rivers!,”’ APC said.

Tinted Glass Dramas And Police Extortions By Emmanuel Tyokumbur.


By Emmanuel Tyokumbur

A coin normally has two faces only. However, in some climes and under certain circumstances, it may appear that the coin maybe multifaceted. Therein lays the paradox of the faces of a coin. Or is that why we find it difficult to accept the coin as a currency denomination, otherwise the note too has two faces. Encounters with some members of the security forces that are the true faces of these agencies or may not be reveals that indeed we are faced with many faces of the same coin. Whether good, bad or ugly, an experience with them reveals the level of professionalism and indeed the rot that many systems in the country have had to contend with.

The purported saying that the police is your friend or not is best captured in the experience I had why traveling from Ibadan to Benue during the yuletide in 2013. It is a well known occurrence during festive seasons that all manner of personnel dot the roads in search of prey whom they will devour or exploit, as there is always a fault to be found on the vehicle or particulars. On this fateful day,at the exit from the expressway  from Ojoo into the state roads at Iwo road we were flagged down by some armed policemen. Our papers were okay, but one of them took me on since I was wearing my ID tag. Having asserted that we were driving in a factory-fitted tinted glass vehicle, he went on to inform us that we had broken the law which was a high court offence and therefore we must follow him to the station or settle them with N10,000 cash. We pleaded to no avail. As if we were the cause of the rot in the force, he vituperated further that we lecturers fail students unjustly and massively.

I thought maybe he must have failed woefully in one of those institutions, so I told him that it was not in the character of a lecturer to fail a student and that the University of Ibadan where I come from is above board and that is why we don’t even sell handouts and force students to buy our books. Not satisfied, he went on by pontificating that the chaplet in our car was attacking him spiritually and he was not himself again. But who can argue with an armed robber, certainly only one out of his/her mind would argue with someone with a gun. For many have been allegedly gunned down by these friends of the public and proclaimed as robbers or much less victims of robbery attacks for failing to accede to their demands. Previously, he had played the ethnic card by speaking with my wife in his language so as to gauge the lever of extortion. We had no choice but to part with our hard-earned money to an armed man using the powers of his gun to preach to us on every subject that presented it directly or indirectly.

We had broken the extant rule on tinted vehicular glass long outlawed during the military era, but a product of intensive research from the developed world to protect passengers from harmful solar radiation and for purposes of right of privacy even on the road. No wonder since we have a paucity of research products, our very agencies are destroying the products of hard-won research gotten from other lands for health benefits as factory-fitted  tinted glass are meant to protect from harmful solar radiation while on the road. Although no bombs have been uncovered in factory-fitted tinted glass vehicles, the measure has been in place for a clearance to be obtained with ‘’immediate effect’’. Like most draconian legislations that do not consider the sensibilities and responsiveness of the hapless citizenry, vehicle owners of factory-fitted tinted glasses have been on the receiving end through police extortions and intimidations on the highways. A market has been created for the extorting police to rake in between 10-15K from their victims.

Unlike the FRSC that gave a time frame and even extended it for number plates, the rule on tinted glasses is with ‘’immediate effect’’ as if we are in a military regime. This is most unfortunate, as law abiding owners would have no time for the replacement of neither the previously lawful tinted glass nor obtaining a licence or clearance from the police authorities. This is discomforting in that some would be forced to move only within restricted zones in order to avoid the recalcitrant police flagging them down for what is clearly a bogus and insensitive rule. This impinges on the freedom of movement of the citizenry. For they never give a breathing space when there is a so-called overstep. However, on the same fateful day, there was an exception in Ondo State at the boundary with Edo towards Okenne. This particular police officer on seen that all our papers were right with the exception of the permit on vehicular tinted glasses, having identified ourselves, cautioned us to make use of the next opportunity to obtain the permit without us begging him.

This was no doubt a hard reminder that good men are still in the police having been extorted by the same force members with abusive statements on the same day in Ibadan, simply because he was armed from the taxpayer’s money. It is quite possible that the sensible police man in Ondo thought about the cumbersome nature of obtaining the permit, the unnecessary cost of replacing the factory-fitted glasses, the recklessness of the resurrected extant rule and the rightness in all our other papers in deciding to wave us through without demanding a bribe. This showed how sensible the rank and file of the force can be, as I reflected.

There is no gain saying  that with the calibre of leadership in the police force today, it could not have  assumed the inglorious role of ‘’immediate effect ‘’ syndrome reminiscent of the military era in resurrecting and enforcing extant rules without giving adequate time for the citizenry to adjust to the situation. In this case, the police force should, like the FRSC on number plates, give a time frame within which vehicle owners with tinted glasses are allowed to change them to transparent screens or obtain the necessary permits to continue using them. After all they were lawful in the first instance and cleared by Customs at the point of entry into the country in the recent past. The process of obtaining such a tinted glass permit should be clearly defined and possible across the country within 24 hours or less.

Otherwise, it can be safely assumed that a new extortion avenue has been created for the lesser mortars in the force (and their collaborators in the stations) that stand on the roads flagging down vehicles looking for an infringe of the law. As good as the rule is in checkmating terrorism as it were, the citizenry need not be reminded of the military fiat with which things were being done in a dictatorship without recourse to allowing them to do what is right. The tinted glass vehicles have been legally cleared for entry into the country, before they were put to use, so the owners shouldn’t be treated now as criminals through no fault of theirs. Nigerians and other vehicle owners with tinted glasses need to be treated with dignity and respect. The force should stop treating everyone as a suspect and criminal. Give the citizenry the time to do the ‘’new’’ right thing on vehicle tinted glass.

Emmanuel Tyokumbur, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Anti-Amaechi protesters shut Port Harcourt down.


River-youth-protest-port

Hundreds of protesters from the four-Ikwerre speaking council areas of Rivers State, on Tuesday, took over the busy Port Harcourt-Aba Road in Port Harcourt, expressing solidarity for the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu.
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They disrupted traffic flow on the road and caused panic in surrounding areas.

Following the protest, the Rivers State government has accused those it described as Federal Government agents as the sponsors of the protest, adding that the state had been subjected to war by the Federal Government.

The protesters, under the aegis of Ikwerre Peoples Assembly (IPA), took over the GRA Junction point of the highway, vowing to shut public and multinational facilities down should the commissioner of police be transferred out of the state.

 

The protest, which lasted about one hour, had a full police cover.

The protesters described Mbu in glowing terms, adding that his problem with the state government was his refusal to be used against those opposed to the governor.

The spokesman of the group, Chima Boms, who was also the counsel to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission headed by the late Justice Kayode Eso (JSC), also said Mbu had performed creditably well in the state.

According to Boms, “CP Mbu, in our estimation, has performed creditably well and deserves commendation. We, therefore, request that he continues to serve in Rivers State for the good of the people. Consequently, the Ikwerre Peoples’ Assembly will resist any attempt to redeploy CP Mbu as commissioner of police in Rivers State as such move will take us back to the dark era.”

Meanwhile, the senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Magnus Abe, who was shot with a rubber bullet by the police at a Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally in Port Harcourt over a week ago, has finally broken his silence.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Senator Abe expressed gratitude to friends, well-meaning individuals, groups and indeed, Nigerians, for their prayers, phone calls, solidarity messages and support, and prayed God to protect them at these dangerous times.

He condemned Sunday’s attack on supporters of Governor Rotimi Amaechi at Bori.

In a related development, pposition All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, alleged that supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan are importing ex-militants from Bayelsa and Akwa-Ibom States to cause mayhem in Rivers State.

A statement by its spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, warned that supporters of Governor Rotimi Amaechi might resort to self-help since Police are allegedly backing the other faction.

Warning of impending bloodbath, the party said, ”Having lost confidence in the ability of the police to protect them and keenly aware of the President’s deliberate refusal to allow peace to reign in their state, the patience of the people of Rivers is wearing thin, and there is an increasing possibility that they may resort to self help, which can only result in a blood-bath.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

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