The Nigeria Police Force has dismissed Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike’s claim that Inspector-General of Police Lawal K. Idris ordered the Rivers State Police to have him killed.
Police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood disclosed this in a press release issued on Sunday. Wike made the allegation in an interview with The Punch on April 9, headlined, “IG Has GIven CP A Mandate To Kill Me – Wike.” The Nigeria Police Force promptly dismissed the claim as unfounded.
“To clear doubts from the minds of the good people of Rivers State and other well-meaning Nigerians that must have read the story and set the record straight, the Force is under obligation to inform the public on the facts of the matter.
“There was no time, either recently or in the past, that the Inspector-General of Police gave an order or assignment to the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State or any police officer anywhere in the country to kill His Excellency, Barrister Nyesom Wike, the Executive Governor of Rivers State,” the statement said.
It described Mr. Wike’s claims as unbefitting, malicious and having the potential to cause disaffection between the Nigeria Police Force and people of Rivers State.
The police explained that the 28,000 police personnel and those of other security agencies deployed to Rivers State under the umbrella of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), created by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police Force, was to ensure the security of voters and everyone connected to the re-run legislative elections held in December.
“His Excellency should put into cognizance national security and that of the people of Rivers State as against any personal, political or group interest, and resist the use of personal grudges, grouse and sentiment to attack the hard earned personality of the Inspector-General of Police to cast aspersion on the statutory roles of the Force in ensuring utmost protection of life and property of all Nigerians,” the Police Force said.
The Force added that it is duty-bound to tell the public that Mr. Wike and his office are shielded by 221 police personnel. This detachment consists of an Aide-de-Camp, Chief Security Officer, Unit Commanders from the Special Protection and Counter-terrorism units, respectively, an escort commander, camp commander, administrative officer and 54 Inspectors of Police.
The team also includes 136 sergeants and 24 corporals.
“Obviously, the total number of 221 police personnel attached to the Governor of Rivers State is more than the strength of some Police Area Commands formation in some States of Nigeria. This is done to ensure optimum safety and protection of the Executive Governor of Rivers State. It is also factual to state that Mr. Wike has not, at any time, reported or brought to the notice of the Inspector-General of Police any security breach or lapses from these police personnel attached to him till date,” the Police Force added.
It further described as untrue the claim that nine Commissioners of Police have served in Rivers State in the last two years, saying the state has had only three since the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police.
“The first Commissioner of Police was redeployed to a higher duty post when he was promoted to the rank of a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, while the second died after a brief illness on admission at an Indian hospital. The third is the current Commissioner of Police in Rivers State,” the statement read.