Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday met with the new commissioner of police, Friday Eboka, days after saying the CP was posted to the state due to political patronage.
He, however, urged the new CP to shun politics and stay within his professional mandate to fight crime without fear or favour.
The governor had last week blasted the Inspector-General of police for posting Eboka to the state, noting that it is very disappointing that the IGP will compromise competence in posting a Commissioner of Police to Rivers State because a favour seeking politician had approached him for such patronage.
According to Wike, such handling of touchy issues like insecurity makes it difficult for him to partner with the Federal Government often, especially because they are not committed to solving the insecurity plaguing the country.
He wondered why the Inspector General of Police grants such a demand for posting a CP to compromise competence.
“There is so much insecurity in Nigeria. There are killings everywhere and they (APC) told Nigerians that they will solve the problem. But the problem is not being solved.
“They appoint Commissioner of Police (CP) based on patronage. A politician from my state will go to see the Inspector General of Police and ask him to give him a CP.
“And the IG will not post CP based on competence to fight crime but based on the fact that the man in the party says he wants so and so person.
“When the person comes, will he fight insecurity? No. That’s the problem we have in this country today. How can I partner with such a government? A government that will not do things based on competence.”
But citing the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in Zamfara state, the governor said there is so much criminality in the society and professional police officers should not abandon their duties of doing their best in protecting life and property for any other interest.
Governor Wike said nobody should be above the law and if any criminal is arrested, such a person should be charged to court not even a politician demands such favour.
“I will never come to you to say Mr CP go and do what is illegal. I will never come to you to say so and so the person is my friend, he was arrested for kidnapping, so release him. In fact, I’ll even say take him away.
“Because if I support the person who is kidnapping, it may be my turn tomorrow, I won’t always be governor.
“So, whatever you can do with your team, please I beg you in the name of God, provide security. Don’t come here and play politics.”
The governor said he is not unmindful that some persons may have recommended him to be posted to Rivers State, but he admonished the CP to let his conscience guide him.
He commended the CP for reorganising the C4I unit of the State police command and pledged to support the team succeed in their task to combat crime.
Governor Wike observed that the level of kidnapping in the State has increased because the immediate past CP, Joseph Mukan abandoned his duty and was hobnobbing with non-state recognised chiefs.
“The level of kidnapping has gone high in society. Your former colleague abandoned the job and was being deceived by some people who feign that they are traditional rulers.
“It’s most unfortunate that the former CP will be going to traditional rulers to be hosting him. It’s a shame. Now, Nigerians don’t have confidence anymore in security agents.
The governor disclosed to the CP how a man who is supposed to be a police officer, dressed in mufti and armed with AK 47 harassed his convoy while he was on inspection of the new Rivers State legislative residential quarters on Thursday.
Governor Wike noted that innocent citizens are killed needlessly by such policemen and asked the new CP to rid the police of such bad elements and ensure sanity is restored.
“Yesterday (Thursday), I was going out for inspection. We saw one guy carrying Ak47, not in police uniform. He was on mufti, blocking us from Waterlines Junction when we went to inspect the Rivers State Assembly’s quarters on-going project.
“We moved on to inspect the Speaker’s residence project, and the man was still following us. So, the security wondered what’s going on and stopped him.”
Governor Wike disclosed to the new CP that his administration has provided the State Police Command with not less than 150 vehicles. But, he regretted that most of the vehicles have been mismanaged and some diverted.
In his speech, the new Commissioner of Police to Rivers State, Friday Eboka said he has dissolved the E-Crack team of the State Police Command because of the uncanny report against it and redeployed the officers to other units.
He told the governor that he needs an effective synergy with all stakeholders, especially the Rivers state government to succeed on his mission of crime-fighting.
“My duty, essentially in this State is to fight crime and criminality. I know I cannot do that work alone without synergy with other stakeholders.
“I want to assure you (Governor) that any assistance given to us will be used to improve the security of this State. I’ve told my men, that there is no armchair policing in my administration. My officers have been warned to shun corruption, be civil with the public, and we will not tolerate accidental discharge.”