By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa – Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has urged the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police Mr Ibrahim Idris, to institute a mechanism to check the recurring harassment of innocent citizens by police personnel on unfounded and baseless allegations.
Dickson made the call while addressing Ijaw youths in his country home of Toru Orua on Friday, a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said.
Soriwei quoted the governor as saying that such frivolous actions dent the reputation of the Police and the Federal Government.
Dickson said in the statement that it had become necessary for the I-G to adopt measures to stop undemocratic practices that traumatised innocent citizens.
He underscored the need for the I-G to review existing internal mechanisms prone to human rights abuses.
The governor appealed to the people of the Niger Delta to accept the apology tendered by the police authorities to the Ijaw National Leader, Pa Edwin Clark over the unauthorised raid on his Asokoro residence.
He commended I-G and the Police authorities for sending a high-powered delegation led by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations, Mr. Habila Joshak, to convey their apologies to Clark.
Dickson had earlier urged the police authorities to apologise to Clark, the Ijaw Nation and Nigerians in general over the action.
He said that the leaders and people of the Niger Delta should accept the apology since the police authorities had already punished those behind the infamous harassment of the elder statesman.
“I want to commend the Inspector General of Police and the police authorities for tendering an apology to our leader, Pa Edwin Clark, over the unfortunate raid of his Abuja residence on Tuesday.
“The I-G sent a high-powered delegation of senior police officers led by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Habitat Joshak, alongside other top police officers to convey the apology of the police authorities to Pa Clark.
“I am of the view that that shows respect and genuine show of apology.
“I urge the leaders, the youths and people of the Niger Delta to accept the apology of the police authorities because they have already commenced steps to punish those involved in the unnecessary raid of Pa Clark’s residence.
“However, I call on the I-G and indeed the police authorities to stop the rampant harassment on innocent citizens by the police on frivolous allegations.
“Such raids have taken place in Bayelsa and indeed across the country. The fact that the Police have not found any arms or ammunition, showed the need for the I-G to overhaul his internal mechanism to prevent abuse,” Dickson said.
He advised Ijaw youth leaders to be calm and await the further steps that the I-G would take on the harassment of the elder Statesman.
Dickson, an ex-policemen,further advised the I-G to monitor the use of Police by politicians for missions other than the reason for which they were deployed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Police raided Clark’s house following a false information given by an unidentified taxi cab driver, who claimed the Ijaw national leader was gun-running.
Idris has since denied authorising the raid by some police inspectors now dismissed for carrying out an illegal order.
Ijaw Youths Council and other Niger Delta groups had condemned the raid, describing it as “provocative”.