Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has alleged that the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force protected errant officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
He stated that instead of taking disciplinary actions against the officers, the Police leadership promoted them up to the rank of Assistant Inspector General.
In a statement on Friday, October 16 titled, ‘Wike Advocates Amendment Of Laws Establishing Nigeria Police Force’ and signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, the governor said the Federal Government is trivialising the demands of #EndSARS protesters by directing state governors to take charge of Tactical Commands of the Police.
Wike was quoted as saying, “State governors cannot take charge of Tactical Commands because they cannot employ or discipline anyone who errs.
“In Rivers State, we set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that indicted SARS officers. Instead of the Police authorities punishing the indicted officers, they shielded them and even promoted one to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General.
“Now the Federal Government wants us to set up another Commission of Inquiry when the report of the last one we set up was not implemented.”
The governor urged the Federal Government to practise true federalism, saying, “Let us practise true federalism. You cannot support community policing and say state police will be controlled by governors.”
Wike also said he acted on intelligence to ensure that #EndSARS protest in Port Harcourt was not hijacked by thugs, adding that he supports the demand for a reformed Police Force.
“From the beginning, we in Rivers State suffered in the hands of SARS operatives as they killed innocent people and made the state ungovernable.
“They even killed a polytechnic lecturer. We cried but they reduced it to politics.
“If we are sincere in this country, what affects one part of the country will be taken seriously by others. Unfortunately, we politicise everything,” he noted.
The #EndSARS protests have been taking place across major cities in the country with youths demanding an end to police brutality and killings.
Major highways across the country have been blocked thereby grounding economic activities.