by Stanley Azuakola
There are fresh reports that the Nigeria police high command is set to sanction the Rivers State commissioner of police, Joseph Mbu, over his public altercations with the governor of Rivers, Rotimi Amaechi.
Ever since the political crisis began in the Rivers PDP and following its subsequent effect in heating up the state’s polity, the commissioner seems to have consistently taken sides with the faction opposed to the state governor and has made several remarks that are inconsistent with the duty of the police to be neutral.
Reports by Leadership Newspaper claimed that the police headquarters is displeased with Mbu because the place of the governor as the chief security officer of the state cannot be swept aside, hence Mbu has a duty to report to Amaechi. The report claims that Mbu’s recent actions embarrassed his superior officers and the Police Service Commission (PSC), pitching them against an incumbent governor.
The paper also quoted a top unnamed police officer who said, “His conduct and utterances is portraying the Force in a very bad light and we cannot condone that. The police high command observed that Mbu has over-stepped his bounds by engaging an incumbent governor in a war of words, including granting press interview, forgetting that he is a public servant, who should only be seen and not heard.”
But observers of the crisis in Rivers state doubt that a sanction against Mbu is possible. The commonly held belief is that Mbu is not acting on his own but following orders from above. It would be almost impossible for the police high command to sanction a person who has the backing of the presidency.
The reaction of the spokesman of the Police Service Commission, Mr Ferdinand Ekpe, to the news was one of ignorance over such a plan. He said he was not aware of an official complaint lodged at the commission concerning the behaviour of the CP in Rivers State.