Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, on Thursday led thousands of supporters to stage a protest over alleged police high handedness during Saturday’s legislative re-run election.
The protesters also accused security personnel of killing members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and demanded the transfer of two policemen alleged to be masterminds of the attacks.
The protest started from Government House to Azikiwe Street and Bank Road before terminating at the Police command headquarters on Moscow road in the city centre.
At the police headquarters, Wike told Cyril Okoro, the state deputy commissioner of police, that people of Rivers were fed up with organised killings.
“On behalf of the Rivers government and good people of the state, we have to let the police know that enough is enough,” he said.
“We demand that Steven Hasso, the assistant commissioner of police in-charge of operations, and Akin Fakorede, commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), be posted out of the state.
“We have come here peacefully to communicate this demand and urge that this request is communicated to Police headquarters in Abuja because I (Wike) have written repeatedly (to IGP).
“Please, I don’t want people to die anymore and definitely do not want corrupt senior police officers posted to Rivers state.”
He said the police had refused to sanction the two policemen in spite alleged video footage, which purported the duo and other security operatives, attempting to allegedly snatch results of the Rivers east senatorial district.
He described as unfortunate and worrisome a situation where policemen “paraded themselves as politicians in uniform”.
Insisting that the “biased” security operatives must be posted out of the state, Wike said: “If they don’t leave the state, then we will do all we can to ensure that they leave this state because they have killed innocent people.”
In his response, Okoro assured Wike that the command will deliver the message to the IGP for possible action.
Meanwhile, the governor has denied the audio linking him to an attempt to rig the election.
He described it as an “outright lie”, saying a “voice changer technology” was used to blackmail him.
“We categorically deny these latest allegations as a sick fabrication, and an outright lie,” read a statement issued on his behalf by Tam George, commissioner for information.
“Governor Wike never made any contact with INEC officials, in person or by telephone. No one would have thought that the APC would resort to an audio impersonation of Governor Nyesom Wike, using a voice changer technology.
“The voice changer technology is often used by teenagers especially in South Korea and Japan to launch innocent technological pranks at each other, mainly for laughs. The use of such a technology to blackmail a governor is a new criminal low for the APC, a party already widely discredited for its addiction to falsehood.”