Rivers State governor and chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has condemned Thursday night’s police blockade of the access road to the Government House, saying that it was the height of lawlessness and impunity. Amaechi stated this on Thursday night when he received members of the Forum of Former Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria at the Government House, Port Harcourt, the state capital. He said: “All of you saw how the former speakers came down from the vehicle to tell them (police) where we were coming from, but the police resisted them. It is for Nigerians to see that we no longer have democracy in this country. We are now in a regime where the law is no longer supreme. We must rise up against this impunity against our democracy.”
The governor also apologised to the former speakers for the embarrassment the police caused them. Former speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Senator Olorunimbe Mamora expressed sadness at the police’s action. He recalled that Amaechi made the detour to get to the Government House with his guests because “he is a responsible citizen”. Mamora said, “I think that (roadblock), to say the least, was quite unfortunate because we were coming from inspection of projects; more than 70 former speakers were in the governor’s (Amaechi) entourage to inspect projects and, on our way back to the Government House, we discovered that we just couldn’t pass because the road had been blocked.”
The Forum called on the inspector-general of police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, to resign from office over the police action. The call came as the Felix Obuah-led PDP in the state insisted that Governor Amaechi was not barred from entering Government House. Chairman of the FFSN and former speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly Hon. Simon Lalong said the police might have acted on a directive from the state police commissioner, Joseph Mbu, who takes his instructions from the IGP. He urged the National Assembly to call for the resignation of Abubakar. The director-general (operations) of the PDP in the state, Hon. Emeka Woke, said: “Governor Amaechi was not prevented from entering the Government House, Port Harcourt.
You know where Government House is and you also know where 38 Forces Avenue (new PDP’s secretariat) is. The governor wanted to forcefully re-open the sealed secretariat and the police prevented him. He is accusing President Jonathan of preventing him from using the road. He is playing the drama to malign Mr President.”