The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress has accused the state governor, Nyesom Wike, of sponsoring the protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The state APC said in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Finebone, that the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Emma Okah, had issued a press release earlier, accusing the APC of planning to organise a solidarity rally in favour of SARS.
It pointed out that Okah’s press release was an attempt by the commissioner to divert attention from the anti-SARS protest.
The party said the protest did not come to it and cursory observers as a surprise.
“To the APC, the Wike-organised anti-SARS march funded and publicised by the Rivers State Government last Friday was only a small part of the strategic scheme by Gov. Nyesom Wike generally targeted at demonising, destabilising and demoralising security agencies in the state.
“We have stated it over and over again that having thrown every imaginable bait at Mr. Fakorede (SARS Commander in Rivers State), but failing to compromise the officer, Gov. Wike is hell-bent on seeing off (transferring) Akin Fakorede from Rivers State especially as 2019 elections approach,” the state APC statement read.
It, however, pointed out that it was saddened that the governor was working hard to undermine security in the state, even as the party appealed to the governor to have a change of heart and allow security agencies carry out their job professionally and unhindered.
Reacting, the state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Samuel Nwanosike, said it was shocking that the APC would link the governor to a matter concerning SARS that was already in the public domain.
Nwanosike explained that the people of the state were not unaware of the activities of SARS operatives in the state, recalling that there had been protests in the past over the killing of a taxi driver by SARS.
Nwanosike said it was the APC that was politicising security in the state for always coming out to defend SARS on the allegations and public outcry against the security outfit.
He said, “Gov. Nyesom Wike has done a lot in the area of security, but men of SARS have continued to frustrate the governor’s efforts. There are claims against SARS operatives involving perpetrating crime in the state, but while SARS has refused to talk, the APC is defending it.’’
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