Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State last night was barred by the Police from accessing the governor’s residence through the private gate of the state Government House, Port Harcourt.
The state Commissioner of Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari confirmed that the governor and his guests, mostly former speakers in the country were allegedly forced by the Police on the orders of the State Police Commissioner, Mr Joseph Mbu, to go through the main gate of the Government House.
Describing the action of the state Police boss as an abuse of federalism and political authority, the commissioner said no official explanation was adduced for the action of the state Police command.
Wondering why the governor of the state should be stopped from accessing his residence through the private gate of the Government House, Semenitari said the action of the Police was strange and a violation of the tenets of popular democracy.
“This happened around 8pm this night (last night). The Police stopped the governor and his guests, former Speakers in the country from accessing the governor’s residence through his private gate. The governor had to go through the main gate. This is a clear abuse of federalism, power and rule of law”, Mrs Semenitari said.
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Angela Agabe dismissed the incident as untrue.
According to her, the Police only stopped Governor Amaechi’s faction of the PDP from setting up their secretariat at 38 Forces Avenue, a building opposite the old GRA Police station.
The Forces Avenue road where the secretariat is located connects the back gate of the Government House, which serves as the private gate of the governor.( Vanguard ).
Meanwhile, policemen were deployed to seal off the secretariat of the ’New PDP’, Rivers state branch shortly after it was commissioned by the Chief of Staff to Governor Amaechi, Tony Okocha.
In an operation led by Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department (DC, CID), Sam Oghaora, party members were chased out just as the poles flying the party’s flags were pulled down.
The building hosting the secretariat is directly opposite the old GRA Police Station and served as the headquarters of Amaechi Campaign Organisation in 2011.