By Akanimo Sampson
The seventh Police Commissioner in Rivers State in less than four years under the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Usman Belel, says the police under his watch will be professional in the discharge of their duties.
But, Governor Wike does not appear to be persuaded by the promise of the new police chief. This is so because since 2015, the police in the state has been transparently partisan in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party of the re-election seeking President Muhammadu Buhari.
Belel was at the Government House, Port Harcourt to formally introduce himself and seek the support of the Wike administration to fight crime.
Wike has always been very critical of the police, accusing them of being the political army of the APC in the state. Apparently aware, the new police chief is busy assuring that the law enforcement agency will work professionally to fight crime and make the state safe for residents to carry out their lawful businesses.
Belel was posted to the state from Zamfara where he served last. Officially, he is the 39th police commissioner since the creation of the state.
Governor Wike has however, declared that citizens are beginning to lose faith in public institutions because of the unprofessional conduct of their personnel, regreting that the armed security forces and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have failed to carry out their responsibilities in line with approved professional ethics.
He is therefore, urging the police under Belel to improve their performance in the state. ‘’People are beginning to lose confidence in public institutions in the country. I believe that as the new police commissioner, you will work for the confidence in the police to return.’’
Wike claimed that the immediate past police chief in the state, Zaki Ahmed, allowed himself to be used negatively against the state and law enforcement processes.
‘’Your predecessor allowed himself to be used by thugs to invade the courts in Rivers State. The Chief Justice of Nigeria called for the investigation and prosecution of those that invaded the courts, but Zaki Ahmed refused.
‘’Rivers will not forget that it was Zaki Ahmed’s time that thugs invaded the state High Court, which is located near the police headquarters . He didn’t bring anybody to book’’, the governor said.
In spite of the obvious biases of the police, Wike has assured the new police commissioner that his administration will support the command to fight crime across the state and urged Belel to focus on ending kidnapping, cultism and other violent crimes.
Adding, he said that under no circumstances should crime be politicised. ‘’Government will give you all necessary support to fight crime . I believe that you will fulfill your pledge to be professional in the discharge of your duties.’’