22nd January, 2015
The anger that trailed the redeployment of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Joseph Mbu, from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to Lagos, on Tuesday did not come as a surprise to many because of the controversial cop’s antecedent as the attack dog of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He demonstrated this trait that is unbecoming of a police officer while serving as Commissioner of Police in Rivers State. Rather than ensure peace and order in the state, he made it ungovernable for Governor Rotimi Amaechi with whom he had a running battle throughout his time in Rivers.
He did that at the behest of the wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, who never saw eye to eye with Governor Amaechi. Because the woman is from Rivers State, she believes she could lord it over Governor Amaechi. So she used Mbu to fight her proxy battle.
After Mbu was redeployed to Abuja, he did not shed the toga of brazen recklessness. He outlawed protests by activists calling for the rescue of 219 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram on 14 April, 2014. But he was promptly put to shame by the then Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, who disowned him and said the police had not banned the #BringBackOurGirls protest.
We believe, just as many do, that Mbu’s posting to Lagos on the eve of general elections, may be to come and do a hatchet job for the PDP. But he must be reminded that Lagos is a different turf where he may not find it easy to bare his fangs recklessly as he did in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
If Mbu wants to enjoy his stay in Lagos and salvage what has remained of his reputation, he should conduct his duties in a professional manner, rather than the patently partisan manner he went about his job in Rivers State.
Irrespective of the government in power, which of course comes and goes, while institutions like the police force remain, a police officer must be seen to be neutral at all times in the discharge of his duties.
We agree with those who said if he is such a tough cop, why has he not been posted to states in Northeastern Nigeria to fight Boko Haram. People hold this view after he boasted that he is a lion that tamed the leopard (Amaechi) in Rivers State.
History has never been kind to partisan police officers who abused their uniforms bought by the tax payers by harassing and intimidating those they are supposed to serve. Sunday Adewusi, the former Inspector General of Police gained notoriety during the 1983 general elections when he deployed mobile policemen, also known then as ‘Kill And Go’, to arrest, torture and even kill innocent people in the opposition parties while doing the bidding of the ruling National Party of Nigeria, NPN.
The opprobrium Adewusi attracted following his overzealous and reckless abuse of power will definitely live with him till the end. We hope Mbu will learn from this and cease to be used to do the hatchet job for the ruling PDP in Lagos during the general elections.