Friday, April 17, 2020 8:14 pm
In an obvious fall out of the ongoing power play between the Federal Government and Governor Nyesom Wike, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Friday redeployed the Rivers State Commissioner for Police, Dandaura Mustapha to Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Dandaura who will assume office as provost, Federal Headquarters in Abuja has been replaced by Joseph Gobum Mukum, according to a statement signed Frank Mba, the public relations officer of the Nigerian Police.
No reason was given for the redeployment of the police Commissioner.
But it was gathered that Dandaura was redeployed because of his involvement in the arrest and prosecution of oil workers and two pilots for allegedly violating the executive order enacted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Rivers on the instruction of Governor Wike
The Police Commissioner was involved in the arrest of two pilots and 10 passengers of Caverton Helicopters last week and the 16 April arrest of 22 oil workers working for ExxonMobil.
Indeed, the redeployed Police Commissioner was present at a press conference broadcast live on national television when Wike announced the arrest of the ExxonMobil staff on Friday morning.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) had on Friday accused the Rivers Police Command of arresting about 21 of our members from Exxon Mobil on essential duty going into Port Harcourt for quarantine before going offshore on April 16
PENGASSAN in a statement jointly signed by the President, Mr Ndukaku Ohaeri and the General Secretary, Mr Lumumba Okugbawa expressed displeasure over the continuous harassment of its members on essential duty in the oil and gas industry despite their exemption from lockdown.
“The members were arrested on the pretext of enforcing the Executive Orders assumedly proclaimed by the State Government in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We are therefore miffed that operatives of government security agencies who are vested with the responsibilities to enforce laws should turn around to intimidate and harass our members who are on legitimate and patriotic duty as essential workers.
“Our association condemns this new form of intimidation and therefore demands an unconditional release of all the 21 staff of ExxonMobil still under detention with apologies,” it said.
The union said it would not hesitate to order its members out of the various oil platforms, rigs and other facilities without further notices if the harassment persisted.
It called on the Federal Government and stakeholders to, as a matter of national economic urgency, prevail on security agencies in Rivers and other states to stop harassment of workers on essential duties.
Hadi Sirika had accused the Police Commissioner for displaying high and dangerous level of ignorance for leading his officers into the Air Force base, Port Harcourt, a Federal property to carry out the arrest of the Caverton Helicopters’ pilots and passengers.