Count us out of police takeover of Rivers’ councils – APC
The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has dismissed claims by the Peoples Democratic Party that it (APC) is behind the takeover of local government secretariats in the state by the Police.
Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said in a statement issued on Sunday in Port Harcourt that the allegation against his party was baseless, watery and without any foundation.
Ikanya explained that the APC was not a lawless party like the PDP, insisting that his party has no hand in the occupation of the council secretariats by the police.
“The accusation is watery, baseless and without foundation. The APC as a party has nothing to do with the Police taking over the LG secretariats in Rivers State.
“We are not a lawless party like the PDP that used the Police and other security organs to make the state virtually ungovernable during their time in power at the centre,” the state APC chairman said.
According to Ikanya, the APC has always been known as a party that respects and advocates strict adherence to the rule of law.
He said, “There is no way the APC will suddenly turn around to do otherwise. The memory of how the lawless PDP-led Federal Government under the watch of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan used the police to harass, intimidate and hound the then-Governor Rotimi Amaechi and APC leaders in Rivers State remains ever fresh.
“PDP leaders in the state clapped and danced when their leader, Chief Nyesom Wike, murdered the rule of law through the infamous CP Joseph Mbu. He (Mbu) heartlessly dispersed 13,000 teachers who gathered to receive their employment letters, aided the five renegade lawmakers to attempt the impeachment of the then Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“Having unequivocally condemned such excesses, there is no way we, as a party, could possibly turn around to instigate the police under the new, law-abiding administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, to walk the path of infamy, as was the case during the discredited Jonathan administration.
“In any case, even if we haboured such thoughts, it wouldn’t have been possible to execute it under the present dispensation, as the President Buhari administration is not running a lawless government as was the case during the time of Dr. Jonathan and could not have directed the police to embark upon any illegal act.”
He, however, restated his party’s rejection of the order by the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, sacking the 22 LG chairmen elected during the Amaechi era.
Ikanya stated that the state APC would follow constitutionally approved judicial processes to seek justice in the matter.
He commended the police for acting promptly to forestall the breakdown of law and order following Justice Akanbi’s unpopular judgement, vowing to do everything lawful to ensure that the sacked council chairmen were not humiliated out of office.
Meanwhile, security operatives that had been at various local government secretariats in the state have vacated the places.
It was gathered that the vacation of the council secretariats was on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.
It was also learnt that the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had earlier spoken with the IGP on the matter before an order was given for policemen to leave the council secretariats.