The Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has aligned itself with the position of the Rivers State Governor, His Excellency Chief Barr.Ezenwo Nyesom Wike CON,GSSR,POS (Africa) praising him for displaying yet another virtue of a good leader on the EndSARS protest held in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The EndSARS protest, which is going on across the 36 states of the Federation including the FCT,was sparked off by the excesses of that tactical unit of the Nigerian Police, which was saddled with the responsibility of combating crimes, especially Armed Robbery, but rather it was culpable in extra-judicial killings, kidnapping, molestation, unlawful detention of innocent citizens, extortion to the extent of shamelessly carrying POS machine with them and taking their victims to ATM to empty their accounts.
The position of the PDP predicated on the premise that when Governor Nyesom Wike first raised alarm on the atrocities committed in the State by the ‘devil men in uniform’ under the command of ACP Akin Fakorede in 2016, no other State Governor or the Civil Society group supported him, neither did the Federal Government give him any listening ears. His concern was rather trivialized as politics.
It was after the December 10th 2016 National Assembly Re-run and subsequent elections, that the F-SARS showed the whole world that they were the ‘Military Arm of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) in the State, through their activities. The police outfit stormed polling units in different communities in the State to maim and kill PDP members before carting away election result sheets for the APC candidates.The SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede was also caught on camera beating up an INEC Official, inflicting injury on his head for refusing to release election result sheets to him at the Port Harcourt City Collation Center, among others.
With all the overwhelming evidences and instances on the atrocities of Akin and his men, Rivers People decided to stage the first ever End-SARS peaceful protest in Nigeria in 2017,to the Police Headquarters on Moscow Road, in Port Harcourt, calling on the Inspector General of Police,IGP and President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the operation of SARS, but the APC held a counter protest few days later in support of Akin Fakorede and his men. Today, State Governors and the Civil Society who did not care to join in condemning the evil activities of SARS then, because it was Rivers People that were at the receiving end have suddenly found their voices to say “End-SARS.”
The Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, was indeed a nightmare to the people, PDP notes with pains an incident at the Orazi axis of Port Harcourt in 2017, when a SARS operative was shot dead while two others escaped by men of the IGP Monitoring Unit in a foiled kidnap attempt.
The recent gruesome murder of an upcoming music star, 22 year old Daniel Ikeaguchi by men of the Special Anti-robbery Squad,in the Elelenwo axis of Port Harcourt was another sad reminder of the mindless brutality and extra-judicial act by men of the police outfit.
It was obvious that men of the outfit among their excesses constitute a ‘Private Army of the Transport Minister’,who used them in snatching election materials and killing PDP members during elections in the State.
They unleashed their murderous activities in different parts of the State during the 2019 Governorship Election. SARS Commander, “ACP Akin Fakorede and his lieutenants murdered PDP members in Abonema, Degema and Oyigbo”,among others. He also supervised the murder of a Senior Lecturer of the Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic and PDP Collation Agent for Khana Constituency 1 Assembly Candidate in the Governorship/ State Assembly Election,during Collation at the INEC Office on Sunday 10th April 2019 at Bori, because he and other Party agents refused Akin and his men to snatch election result sheets in favour of the AAC Candidate that Amaechi was supporting since APC was not on the ballot paper for the election.
Dr. Ferry Gberegbe and other Party agents were shot at. It was a live video that went viral on social media,that aroused public outcry which led to the suspension of Collating and announcement of results by the INEC on that day. In fact the entire Rivers State was like a war zone, no thanks to men of the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS. Dr.Ferry Gberegbe was a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a Certified Tax Expert and a father of three, but was murdered in cold blood and later accused of being a cultist by Akin Fakorede in a testimony before the House Committee on Army of the House Of Representatives who was on a fact finding mission to Rivers State on the spate of killings during that election.
To say the least, SARS had never been a friend of the Rivers state people, hence the Peoples Democratic Party aligns itself with the position of Governor Nyesom Wike that Nigerians should support the total reformation of the Nigeria Police Force. Without a complete reformation of the Force , the much talked about disbandment of SARS would be unrealistic. SARS operatives had indeed constituted themselves into a menace, a nightmare and a bigger enemy of Rivers people.
PDP in Rivers State therefore calls on all people of goodwill to join the Rivers State Governor to demand total and complete reform of the Nigeria Police, prosecute erring officers to give justice to victims and serve as a deterrent to other officers.Appealing to the Nigerian Police Force to always ensure the safety of lives and property of all Nigerians.
Hon.Tambari Sydney Gbara
PDP Rvers State Publicity Secretary.