In order to perfect his design of a campaign of calumny against the police Special Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS and set the general public against the security outfit, Gov. Nyesom Wike has been allegedly fingered to have spent more than N200m to bankroll the ongoing protest against the police outfit in some major cities of the country.
Unfolding events in the firmament of Rivers State appears to point to the governor’s complicity in the anti SARS protests. One of such pointer to Wike’s culpability was the sighting of a motley crowd of youths who first converged at Port Harcourt Government House where their activities were publicized by the state house Press Corp.
Governor Wike, the architect and executioner of the #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG project had incubated the idea to antagonize the lawfully constituted law enforcement body in his sustained bid to politicise the security in Rivers State ahead of 2019 general election.
The protest did not come to Nigerians and cursory observers as a surprise because 24 hours earlier, the Rivers State Government through the Information and Communications Commissioner, Barr. Emma Okah, had flown a kite by accusing the All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to organise a protest in solidarity with SARS.
Speaking at the rally, the convener of the #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG, Segun Awosanya said that Nigerians have spent the last one week highlighting the travails many Nigerians suffer in the hands of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
He said that the stories that have been recounted on social media include stories of torture, a lack of respect for the rule of law, extortion, extrajudicial murder and the disappearance of hundreds of people.
Awosanya noted that the police unit has outlived its usefulness and now constitutes a clear and present threat to the safety, well-being and welfare of most Nigerians.
The group has given the authorities 21 days within which to meet these demands failing which they will be compelled to resort to other measures to embarrass them into taking action.
The face-off between Wike and the Commander of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) in Rivers State, Akin Fakorede started when the security outfit refused to be bribed to support the massive rigging of the December 10 last year’s legislative rerun in the state.
The situation reached a crescendo with the refusal of the security outfit to be a willing tool in the governor’s hand to unleash a reign of terror on his perceived enemies in the state, prompting the state government to issue a notice issued to the anti-robbery outfit to quit its office complex.
To further show his frustration, Wike bitterly complained, when he played host to the Board of Editors of Sun newspaper, led by the Managing Director of the body, Mr Eric Osagie.
He said the restructuring on the security outfit by the Inspector General of Police, IG, was allegedly to divert attention from its atrocities. The governor said SARS was operating like a dreaded kidnap gang, stressing that the state government was the first to raise alarm on the alleged illegal operations of SARS.
He added that: “SARS is being prepared for the rigging of elections in 2019. The time has come for people to resist these criminals in uniform because they cannot kill everyone. “SARS has not helped in Rivers State. Rather they perpetrate criminal activities.”
Checks reveal that the anti-SARS campaign is been spearheaded by Awosanya, one of the major voices demanding the scrapping of the SARS, because of what he termed its human rights abuses and brutality against citizens.
Mr. Awosanya, a lead campaigner in the citizen-led #EndSARS initiative, has been alleged to have been hobnobbing with politicians. The police are said to be in possession of some of his pictures online indicating his closeness to Wike and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) politicians in the state.
“When you see someone like that who regularly mingles with politicians now leading a campaign to scrap a critical department in the police, then you know his activities are not genuine,” said police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, in a telephone exchange newsmen.
Efforts to contact Governor Wike’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu proved abortive as his telephone lines are not going through and email sent to him has not been replied up to the time of filing this story