Nigeria News
Rivers: As Amaechi, Mbu Return To The Trenches

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The rivalry between Rivers State governor and chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and former commissioner of police in the state and now, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in-charge of Zone 7, Abuja, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, seems to have resumed.

The face-off between Amaechi and Mbu, which temporarily ceased in February 2014, when the later was redeployed from the state, actually started upon the police officer’s resumption in the state in February 2013.

Observers of development in the state believed that with Mbu’s romance with chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), especially, the minister of state for education, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, and the chairman of PDP in the state, Chief Felix Obuah, it was obvious that he was in the state to play out a script.

Also, the role he played in the crisis that rocked the Rivers State House of Assembly on July 9 and July 10, 2013, where he provided security for only the five lawmakers opposed to the administration of Amaechi, and ordered policemen at the main entrance into the complex to vacant the area while the lawmakers engaged in a free-for-all right on the floor of the House, showed his partisan posture.

The observers further said the decision to send policemen and armoured personnel carriers (APC) to provide security during rallies organised by the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI) a non-governmental organisation (NGO), financed by Wike, while he sends anti-riot policemen, armed to the teeth to disrupt gatherings of Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF) and the Save Rivers Movement (SRM), two non-governmental organisations loyal to Amaechi and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

At one of such gatherings, held at the Rivers State College of Arts, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, the senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, was allegedly shot at by policemen on the orders on the police chief.

Apparently to get at the governor, Mbu withdrew several policemen attached to political appointees of Amaechi and in return, the governor withheld all state government’s support to the police in the state.

The face-off lingered until February 2014 when the then Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar redeployed Mbu to the Federal Capital Territory Command, and replaced him with then commissioner –in-charge of the Special Fraud Investigation Unit (SFIU), and now Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Mr. Tunde Johnson Ogunsakin.

In the renewed feud between the duo, it is believed that Amaechi threw the first bombshell when he described Mbu as a politician in police uniform who attempted to cripple the economy of the state.

The governor, who spoke when the newly deployed commissioner of police, Mr. Dan Bature in company of Ogunshakin paid him a courtesy visit at Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital, said Mbu deviated from his professional role of protecting lives and property by serving politicians of the PDP.

He said, “Unlike Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, who clearly showed us that he was a registered member of the PDP; in your own case (referring to Ogunsakin) you know that we had disagreement, but you realised your responsibility to ensure the security of lives and property as the paramount responsibility of the Nigerian police. It is important you keep that peace, and I wish to thank you for that peace. I am also sure Rivers people are happy about that.

The way Mr. Mbu was going, Rivers economy would have collapsed completely. Fortunately for us, they took him away and brought you (Ogunsakin) and you restored calm. You tried to create a platform for all parties to have access to reach you. As you go, please, go with that same spirit. The Police in Rivers State should discharge their responsibility as it concerns the protection of lives and property.

“Let me welcome the new commissioner of police and say that, if the federal government refuses, I will repeat what I said, when I was sworn in as governor in 2007. I said, if the federal government refuses to provide legitimate source of livelihood for Nigerians in our state, Nigerians will provide for themselves illegitimate source of livelihood, and that includes kidnapping, robbery, stealing by people who will hire or provide police or military uniforms. That illegitimate source of livelihood becomes its own economy which automatically frightens the legitimate economy.”

Replying Amaechi’s bombshell, the AIG in-charge of Zone 7, Abuja, Mbu, described himself as a lion, who tamed the ‘leopard of Port Harcourt’, pointing out that it was only a lion that could tame a leopard.

The AIG, who spoke in Abuja, while handing over to the new FCT commissioner of police, Wilson Inalegwu, advised his successor to be firm in his dealings with policemen in his command and avoid soiling himself.

He said, “I advice you (Inalegwu) to carry the senior officers along in your administration. It is only a lion that can tame a leopard. I tamed the leopard in Port Harcourt; each time he remembers my face, he would remember how I tamed him.”

As expected, Amaechi launched another attack on Mbu when he scoffed at the Cross River State-born senior police officer’s claim that he is a lion, saying Mbu is a puppet who completely lacks the steel and strength of character of a lion, and is rather a shameless, corrupt puppet and toothless attack dog of a woman.

The governor, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by his chief press secretary, David Iyofor, said, “Indeed it’s very sad, pathetic, however ironic that Mbu called himself a lion. Which lion? This character call Mbu Joseph Mbu completely lacks the courage, steel, and strength of character of a lion.

“Rather he’s a shameless, corrupt puppet of a woman. This is a man paid by taxpayers to protect, secure, and serve the interests of the people. But when he was in Rivers State, he spurned the people; he trampled on the masses and rather elected to be the partisan servant of one woman, to be the woman’s tool in causing disaffection, confusion, and crises in Rivers State. Mbu shamelessly and corruptly turned himself into the toothless attack dog of this woman to fight the government and people of Rivers State.

“How can a man who has no strength of character to be himself, be a man and stand up to a woman, a man who willingly submits himself to serve as the puppet of a woman call himself a lion? How ironic! Mr. Mbu, no lion behaves like that! You are a disgrace and shame to the Nigerian Police Force.”

Speaking further, Amaechi maintained that Mbu epitomises everything that is wrong with the police in Nigeria.

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