The Rivers State Police Command has issued a statement clarifying the circumstances surrounding the recent incident involving Governor Siminalayi Fubara during a protest at the State House of Assembly complex in Port Harcourt. The incident occurred on Monday as lawmakers were commencing the process of impeaching Governor Fubara.
According to initial reports by SaharaReporters, security personnel fired gunshots and tear gas on the Assembly premises, where protesters and lawmakers had gathered. Governor Fubara accused security agencies of bias and claimed that they had intentionally targeted him during the protests.
In response to the incident, the state police command stated that they had launched a comprehensive investigation to uncover the facts surrounding the alleged shooting at the governor.
In a subsequent statement released on Wednesday, the police clarified the events that unfolded. According to the statement, the police had received credible intelligence about the intention of an armed group to cause mayhem at the State House of Assembly on Monday. The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations had deployed armed police operatives to intercept these potential troublemakers and protect lives and property at the Assembly complex.
“Following the receipt of credible intelligence on the intention of some armed group of persons to cause mayhem in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital, particularly at the State House of Assembly on Monday 30th October, and recalling the previous case of arson on the State House of Assembly a day prior which is currently being investigated, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations immediately deployed armed police operatives which he personally supervised in order to intercept the ‘hoodlums’ and ensure the protection of lives and properties within the State House of Assembly facility and its environ.
“At the entrance of the Complex, it was observed that youths numbering over a hundred had begun a protest to gain access to the Complex and conduct themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace.
“This led to the police deploying non-lethal crowd control equipment including tear gas and water cannon to disperse the riotous and uncontrollable protesters.
“However, some minutes later, another aggressive group of persons approached the entrance of the complex and advanced towards the premises. The police therefore engaged them in like manner but observed that the Executive Governor of the State, Siminalayi Fubara, was in their midst.
“The presence of the governor at the scene was of great surprise and shock as there was no prior communication to the police on the visit of the governor to the scene of the crime which ordinarily is the usual protocol and complimentary that we accompany his guard for proper safety considering the intelligence of security threat at hand then.
“In consideration of this, the DC Ops quickly took deliberate security steps to ensure his protection and safety, while the Governor and his entourage went on to assess the level of damage caused by the fire incident.
“Thus, it’s pertinent to state that the Police did not deliberately attack the Governor, or even attempt to hurt anyone let alone the Chief Executive and security officer of the state which it’s our most essential role to protect as being peddled in the news. Due to the present situation, and the misrepresentation in some sections of the media, it is pertinent to make this clarification.
“Similarly, the Rivers State Police Command has emplaced adequate security measures to ensure that the situation de-escalates and total calm is restored in the affected areas.”
The police statement emphasized that their actions were not an intentional attack on the governor or an attempt to harm anyone, including the Chief Executive and security officer of the state. The police reiterated that their primary role is to protect the safety and security of the state’s leadership.
The Rivers State Police Command also stated that they have implemented adequate security measures to de-escalate the situation and restore calm in the affected areas.
The incident remains under investigation as the state works to resolve the ongoing crisis.