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HURIWA: Big shame that police has taken sides in Kano, Rivers

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Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has cautioned the Nigeria Police Force to steer clear of political biases and sentiments and work to advance the rule of law and the security of the country.

HURIWA said the police in providing security to lives and property must not behave like alternative governments in states that are controlled by political parties other than the All Progressives Congress just as the Police is a creation of the constitution and not appendages of political interests.

In a media statement, the Rights group averred that the actions of the police in Kano and Rivers States, have demonstrated that the Police has a predilection for advancing a particular powerful interest and not working to promote harmony, security and rule of law, but the police hierarchy in Abuja may by the constant partisan instructions to the commissioners of police in those two states, are leaning towards the factions opposed to the state governments.

HURIWA said it is a big shame that the police in Rivers are so one-sided that members of the faction opposed to the dissolution of the local government councils are organising mass rallies to drum up support for the Inspector General of Police as if the police is now a party in the Rivers state’s political infighting between a godfather and a godson who is the legitimate governor of Rivers State. The Rights group therefore wondered whether state governors are still the chief security officers of the states since the IGP is the person dictating to the police concerning the political interests the police should protect. “We think the police should stop undermining stability and security in the states not under the political control of the political party controlling the federal government. The police should be a national and not a politicised institution that follows the dictates of particular political persuasions. The actions of the police in Rivers and Kano are undemocratic and unconstitutional.

“We have watched with rapt attention, the deteriorating security situation in Rivers state and one fact is clear that the police has entered the political fray as partisan agents detailed from the nation’s capital to protect the political interests of the erstwhile intransigent local council chairmen whose tenure reportedly expired even as the Rivers state’s governor immediately made replacements. The police can’t operate in opposition to the legitimately elected state government in Rivers and Kano states.

HURIWA through its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko stated that as a totally non-partisan group, it has no interest in backing any of the factions in the political differences that have manifested in both Rivers and Kano states. HURIWA said it is only concerned about the outward manifestations of partisanship by the Nigeria Police Force which ought to be absolutely non-partisan, neutral and pro-people.

HURIWA states as follows: “The developments at play in both Rivers state and the debacle over who the rightful Emir of Kano is, couldn’t have exploded were it to be that the governors are of the All Progressives Congress which is the party that has now started dictating to the police hierarchy on their operational decisions and which of the factions to protect.”

HURIWA observed that in Rivers state, the police said it took over the occupation of the 23 local council secretariats following clashes by groups of youths that resulted in the deaths of two persons. But the question that seeks for a response is whether the constituted government of Rivers State was in the picture before the police effected the occupation of the council secretariats and what has become of the civil servants working in these local government councils in Rivers state and for how long will governance be prevented at the grassroots or has the police overthrown the local government administrators in Rivers state?

HURIWA recalled that in Kano state, the police commissioner who also doubles as the Assistant Inspector-general of police Usaini Gumel has continuously made public statements challenging the legitimate authority of the Kano state governor as if to say that Kano now operate two different layers of government with one of the branches headed by the commissioner of police and the other by the legitimately elected governor of Kano state. The police refused to enforce the directive by the Kano state governor to evict deposed Emir Ado Bayero from the mini Palace arguing that it would amount to jumping the gun when the matter is in court for adjudication. But the issue here is that the police in Kano is dancing to the music by the All Progressives Congress that lost power in Kano to the New Nigerian Peoples Party.

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko,

National Coordinator,


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