Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has asked the federal government to stop pretending that it was sincere about meeting the demands of EndSARS protesters to end police brutality in the country.
Governor Wike accused the federal government of paying lip service to the demands of the #EndSARS protesters by directing state governors to set up judicial panels of enquiry to investigate and identify erring police officers for prosecution.
The governor spoke in a live interview that was aired by AIT from Port Harcourt, the rivers state capital, on Friday.
The National Executive Council (NEC), which issued the directive to state governors, had said the that panels were expected to conclude the investigation within six months and report back to the federal government.
“What judicial panel of enquiry are you talking about?” Wike had said when asked to speak on it.
The governor recalled that a panel he set up two years ago to investigate SARS in Rivers State had allegedly indicted several operatives of the defunct police unit, but that the police and federal government failed to act on it because they were “playing politics”.
Wike said, “The Rivers State Government had set up a judicial panel of enquiry…most officers of SARS were indicted. We sent it to the police. Have they implemented it?
“Why? Because they were playing politics with it. Now you’re directing me again to go and set up judicial enquiry. Who is going to pay for that? Go and implement the one that was set up before…tell your police to implement the one that was set up before that indicted some of these officers.
“I don’t need to be directed. I know my job and I’ve done it two years ago, but you refused to implement it simply because you believed that SARS was working for you.”
Wike also dismissed NEC’s directive that state governors should supervise the new tactical squad that is being set up by the police to replace the defunct SARS.
He said, “You’re telling me now that governors should supervise the tactical units. When did governors become so powerful to control the police? To now begin to supervise the tactical units?
“Is it not the same governors you said would use [them] for politics that you are now telling to supervise? I did not appoint the people; the Commissioner of Police is not under me. How do I supervise.”
Wike further called on the federal government to be sincere with Nigerians if truly wants to solve the complaints about police brutality in the country.
He said, “Don’t make the public believe that you’re trying to solve the problem when you know sincerely that you’re not solving any problem. So, I cannot begin to jump up as a state governor because we have been told to do so when we know it would not work.”