Following the recent upsurge in insecurity and other criminal activities, including kidnapping in the state, Rivers State Governor , Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, Tuesday called on the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, and by extension the federal government, to as a matter of urgency transfer the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, out of the state.
Amaechi, who spoke when the Chairman of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Governing Board, Chief Gordon Bozimo, led a delegation to pay him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt, said the call for Mbu’s transfer became necessary because the police commissioner had derailed from his legitimate function of protecting lives and property in the state.
“We used to have a wonderful security system and Commissioners of Police, who understood their functions and knew what to do. But when the police in Abuja suddenly withdrew the predecessor of this present Commissioner of Police and posted the person called Mbu Joseph Mbu, nothing has been working again. Mbu has been sitting with politicians for political reasons and the security system is down and out. Since he came, we have never had peace.
“We have held security council meeting two or three times. But before Mbu came, we used to hold security meetings two or three times every month. We know where our corps members are and we know the level of security arrangement we put in place to protect them. We also send the State Security Service (SSS) to watch over them. We have equipment that monitors what happens where. The only way they will not kidnap corps members is to send Joseph Mbu back to where he came from and post us a Commissioner of Police that will serve the interest of this state,” Amaechi said.
The governor also tasked members of the NYSC board to make the federal government understand the issues involved in the kidnapping of three corps members, who were abducted in the state and the implications it would have on the state, pointing out that his administration would soon stop funding the police for its inability to deliver and protect the lives and property of citizens.
“I don’t want a Commissioner of Police that will work for me; I want a Commissioner of Police that will work for the interest of the state, that will work for Rivers State people. So, it is not only me that you should complain to, talk to IG and those who transferred the Commissioner of Police that was working in the interest of Rivers State people. Port Harcourt is becoming unsafe, and more NYSC members may be kidnapped, except they remove Joseph Mbu. It will worsen when we (the state government) stop funding the police, because we will soon stop funding them.”
Amaechi warned that Mbu’s continued stay in the state would jeopardise the conducive business climate of Port Harcourt and the fast growing economy of the state.
“The CP, Mbu Joseph Mbu, is a politician, because he attends political meetings with those who brought him to our state and there is no way you can stop that. The only way you can stop that is to ask the politicians in Abuja to withdraw their CP and allow us to secure Rivers State. My fear is that his stay in Rivers State is intended to kill the conducive business climate in Port Harcourt and the fast growing economy of our state,” he added.
Amaechi emphasised that a new CP should be posted to the state as soon as possible to take over from Mbu who is taking laws into his hands, showing disrespect, insubordination to constituted authority, arrogance and gross misconduct to the Rivers State Government and people.
He said: “The federal government should post a new Commissioner of Police. I have no control over the present Commissioner of Police Mbu, even though the constitution says so. He called a press conference where he said he did not report to the governor of the state, who is the chief security officer of the state. So, how do I (Amaechi) protect our citizens?”
Earlier, Bozimo had raised concerns over the recent kidnap of three corps members and other atrocities meted out to the corps members posted to the state.
The corps members, two males and one female, were said to have been abducted by gunmen at the Corpers’ Lodge in Ogonokom Community Secondary school, Abua/Odua Local Government Area of Rivers State.
THISDAY gathered that as yesterday, the abductors were demanding a ransom of N20 million for the release of the corps members.
“Three days ago, three of our corps members were kidnapped. I feel very worried because, if Port Harcourt is not safe, I don’t know where people will run to. So, we are imploring Your Excellency, to look at the problems critically and fashion out what we can do to nip the problem in the bud, if not, corps members may begin to avoid Rivers State the way they did to Borno, Yobe and other trouble ridden states in the north. I have the intention of discussing it with the Inspector General of Police when I get to Abuja,” Bozimo said.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 6, Mr. Jonathan Johnson, accompanied by Mbu, during a courtesy visit to Amaechi in May, had promised to correct the mistakes in the discharge of their duties on the recent events unfolding in the state.
However, Bozimo said the purpose of the visit was in confirmation of Amaechi’s commitment to the promotion of the NYSC programme and to have a firsthand knowledge of how the orientation camp looks like in the state.
“Because, our mandate is to ensure there is a paradigm shift, the way it is done in the NYSC programme, we are aware that the Rivers State Government in particular has been very generous to the NYSC in the state. We are aware of the extra-allowances you pay to corps members. In fact, as I speak, there is serious refurbishment going on in the camp, and we are very much elated in that regard. The sum total is that we are here to thank you for all the assistance you have been giving to the board,” Bozimo said.