The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has reacted to the dismissal of six policemen attached to him.
The police on Friday said the six officers – one inspector and five sergeants – were dismissed from service for firing indiscriminately into the air, and thereby causing panic among the crowd, during the recent re-run election in the state.
The incident, according to the police, took place when the policemen were in Mr. Wike’s convoy.
They were also accused of escorting Mr. Wike to polling units during the elections, in contravention of the directive from the inspector general of police, which had barred policemen from moving around polling units with politicians and political office holders.
The Rivers government, in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Austin Tam-George, condemned the action of the police authorities.
“This is a tragic day for professionalism and the respect for human rights in the Nigeria police force,” Mr. Tam-George said in the statement.
“The dismissed officers committed no crime, other than foil a carefully orchestrated electoral heist by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in collusion with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Nigeria Police force.
The statement said the allegation that the affected policemen misused their firearms while in the convoy of the governor was “a wrong and cruel fabrication”, adding that the governor did not leave his official residence on that day.
“Two days after the elections, on the 12th of December 2016, thousands of Rivers people, led by Governor Wike, resisted an invasion by the police on the premises of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council, in a brazen attempt to rig the elections in favour of the APC.
“The Port Harcourt City Council was the Election Collation Centre for the Rivers East Senatorial District.
“Throughout the period of the standoff between the invading police officers and the thousands of citizens who resisted them, Governor Wike and the officers around him conducted themselves with utmost restraint.
“The dismissed officers are therefore the latest victims of the medieval dictatorship of the APC government,” the statement said.