The commissioner of police in Akwa Ibom state, Musa Kimo, has dismissed as “false and unfounded”, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s claims that he protected and assisted “thugs” to gain access to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly during the Tuesday’s fracas at the assembly.
Five sacked lawmakers, who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had occupied the assembly chambers to hold their ‘sitting’ on Tuesday morning, before they were violently chased away from the assembly premises when the governor arrived with a number of security officials and youth loyal to the state government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The House, presided by the speaker, Onofiok Luke, went on to conduct its day’s proceedings.
“I want everyone to know and hear me that we have seen a total breakdown of law and order today led by the Nigeria Police,” the governor, Mr Emmanuel, said while briefing reporters later in the day at Government House, Uyo.
“The same police I’m using the resources of the state to make sure we maintain peace and order in this state.
“Akwa Ibom has been the most peaceful state in this country. We maintain oil installations so that money could be gotten here and sent to Abuja for the police to also be maintained. It is the same police today, supervised by the Commissioner who came in against the thought of law. And what did the Speaker do? The Speaker was maintaining law and order.
“And this morning, they were drumming the so-called ‘Warsaw saw War’, we have seen a trace of it today. Some people were arrested with fake army uniforms. They came in with 18 AK-47 and they were arrested. As I’m talking to you, those people who were arrested have been released through the order of the police.
“Before this time, some of our guys were able to capture these things with their phones, so we will use the pictures to blow for the whole world to see.
“The police has allowed them to take all the 18 AK-47 back. This is the same ‘Warsaw’ that was pronounced. We have reported this to the highest authority, the presidency and the security agencies and no one has taken steps to address it. So, they are leaving Akwa Ibom people to defend themselves,” Mr Emmanuel said.
The governor asked the police authorities in Abuja to immediately transfer the Akwa Ibom police commissioner who is barely one week old in the state.
Mr Kimo, Wednesday, responded to the governor’s allegations.
The police chief told reporters at the state police headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, he would not condescend so low to escort lawmakers into the assembly as claimed by the governor.
He said the police were deployed at strategic positions in the assembly premises to forestall a breakdown of order and peace, and not to prevent any lawmaker from getting into the assembly.
The police chief also countered Mr Emmanuel’s claim that people wearing army uniform were caught with AK-47 rifles. “The claims are totally unfounded,” he said.
He challenged the governor to make public the video clips he said were in the government’s possession.
The police commissioner told PREMIUM TIMES, Thursday, there was nothing for him to be afraid of.
“I don’t have any skeleton in my cupboard. I am God-fearing,” he said.
“We are apolitical, we are neutral. We are fair and just to everybody. In fact, the police should be commended. We cannot be dragged into politics. We will continue to do the right thing, we will continue to be professional in our job,” he said.
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has been thrown into intractable crisis for days now since five lawmakers were sacked from the assembly for defecting from the PDP to the APC.
Governor Emmanuel blamed a senator and former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio, of being the mastermind of the crisis.
Mr Akpabio has, however, dismissed the accusation, saying “the brazen act of lawlessness by the governor” was responsible for the crisis.