Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has declared that the government and people of the state would not cooperate with an investigation launched by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim K. Idris into disturbing aspects of the December 10, 2016 legislative elections in the state.
In a statement released by his spokesman, Simeon Nwakaudu, Governor Wike described the police probe as “phony,” adding that the police had deliberately murdered Rivers people in cold blood and could not “turn around to investigate.”
In setting up the probe, IGP Idris said part of the goals was to determine the authenticity of leaked phone conversations in which Mr. Wike was heard discussing the rigging of polls with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) he had apparently bribed and, in one instance, threatening to get back his cash or kill an INEC official.
According to Mr. Nwakaudu’s statement, Governor Wike felt that the police probe “has a predetermined goal, which is to indict PDP members and commence their politically motivated prosecution.”
The spokesman quoted the governor as speaking at the PDP’s “Victory Thanksgiving Mass” held at Our Lady Chaplaincy of the Catholic Institute of West Africa to celebrate “a successful rerun/supplementary elections.”
“We are not a party to their so-called panel. We have passed that stage and we cannot fall into the trap of a panel of inquiry,” the statement quoted the governor as saying.
Mr. Wike reportedly added: “After killing our people, you want us to assist you unravel what? It is the police that killed our people.” According to the governor, the police lacked the authority to investigate issues surrounding the Rivers rerun elections, since the police was “one of the interested parties involved in the attempt to subvert the will of the people.”
Mr. Wike accused the Police High Command of refusing to prosecute officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caught on camera printing fake result sheets ahead of the elections. He alleged that complaints to the police hierarchy regarding “the negative activities of ACP Steven Hasso and the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Mr. Akin Fakorede, were disregarded.”
According to Governor Wike, the police also ignored videotapes of Mr. Fakorede beating up electoral officers at the Rivers East senatorial district collation center.
“If it is a country that believes in its image, so many people would have lost their jobs. They cannot ask themselves why 28,000 policemen, yet to be ascertained number of soldiers, police dogs and horses, gunboats and helicopters could not police ordinary legislative elections,” the governor stated.
In an accusatory tone, he added: “It is because the police were the ones committing the fraud, violence and election materials snatching. We are accusing the police of mass murder and they turn around to set up a panel of inquiry.
“After killing our people, you fraudulently set a panel of inquiry. Up till now they don't know that we are far ahead. This panel is a mere booby trap to indict PDP members. If they cared about lives, they wouldn't do what they did.”
Mr. Wike further claimed that God’s grace and intervention enabled Rivers State to survive the onslaught of Federal might. “We are here to thank God for the victory he has given Rivers State. We came out from a battle and God was our leader during the fight. We owe God a lot,” said the governor.
In his sermon, Reverend Monsignor Pius Kii prophesied that no coalition of forces could ever defeat Rivers State.