By Shitile Mbayansa, Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, Thursday, said Governor Nyesom Wike was talking “nonsense” when he accused policemen of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of being behind kidnappings and robberies in Rivers State.
He spoke to journalists after a briefing with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Wike had Wednesday displayed a police signal purporting to detail how SARS men were in the process of forcing a Port Harcourt resident, Ifeanyi, to withdraw N500,000.00. Other policemen arrived the scene, and in a gun duel, one of the SARS operative was shot dead.
The governor also showed the photo of the shot policeman.
But confronted by journalists at the State House, Abuja, Idris told a different story.
“He (Wike) has right to self expression. You know he is a governor….I have to deny that. That is nonsense. I have to deny that.”
On the photograph of the dead policeman Governor Wike displayed to journalists to buttress his point, the police boss said, “if a policeman was killed will you say he was involved in crime? I think you are mixing two different issues.
“A policeman was killed in Rivers in connection with this IPOB issue, its different from saying the policemen are involved in crime. You cannot say someone that was attacked and killed is the one involved in crime.
“Who is the person they were attempting to kidnap?…I just want you to read between the lines. If you have leaders making sweeping allegations obviously it does not make sense. I don’t want to comment on it.
Wike had said Wednesday; “Most of the kidnappings and armed robberies taking place in this state are done by men of SARS. They use exhibit vehicles to operate.
“As the chief security officer of the state, you complain, but they choose to play politics with crime.
“They fight crime in some states, but they refuse to fight crime in Rivers state. We are done with the elections, but they are using SARS to create insecurity in the state.
“As I speak with you, they will deny. But the SARS operative who was killed was among those who raided the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre. This man can be identified in the video as one of those who invaded the collation centre with Fakorede.
“I have never seen a country where they politicise crime. It is very obvious that they want to give the impression that Rivers state is unsafe. They want to instill fear preparatory to declaring during the elections that they are so much killing.
“Authorities deliberately trying to destroy a whole state and you want the people to be happy. I will no longer write.
“Now is the time to take my case to the public, for the whole world to know what is happening,.”