Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has accused the Nigeria Police of blackmailing his administration over the alleged murder of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) during the December 10, 2016 National and State Houses of Assembly rerun elections.
He challenged the police to tell Nigerians and the rest of the world how and where the DSP was murdered during the elections, instead of trying to cover obvious facts.
Governor Wike also wondered why the police had refused to make public the communication that an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and former Commissioner of Power, Mr. Augustine Kachi Nwokocha, had with the killers before the DSP was murdered.
The governor spoke on Thursday when he received the management of Independent Newspapers Limited at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said: "The police should let the world know where the DSP was killed, the polling unit where he was killed.
"And the former commissioner of police who was mentioned by the killers, has he been questioned?
"Where is the call log of that former commissioner as communicated with the killers? Have they checked the discussions between the commissioner and the arrested killers?
"They know the truth, but they want to cover a lot of things. The Army announced that they recovered the uniforms from the forest. Was there a polling unit in the forest?"
Wike noted that the steps being taken to blackmail the state government will fail because the people of Rivers State cannot be cowed.
He appealed to journalists to always defend the truth and speak out regularly.
Wike said: "The survival of democracy to a large extent depends on a vibrant media. Certain things happening in the country must be made public by the media."
On the award of the "Man of the Year 2016" by the Independent Newspapers, Governor Wike dedicated it to God and the people of the state.
He said: "When you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference, excuses will not be tolerated by the people. That is why we are committed to the development of the state ".
The Managing Director of Independent Newspapers Limited, Mr. Ted Iwere, told the governor that the Editorial Board and Board of Editors of the organisation resolved to honour Governor Wike as the Man of the Year 2016 for his sterling performance in the provision of infrastructure, human capital development and internal revenue generation.
Meanwhile, the Director of Defence Information, Brig.Gen. Rabe Abubakar, has said that the military was not partisan in the Rivers’ re-run elections but was on ground to provide its professional services during the elections.
He spoke on the heels of the continued condemnation of the role of the military and other security agencies in influencing the outcome of the elections across the state.
The Rivers State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had criticised the military over its role in the December 10, 2016 re-run polls which the parties insisted influenced the outcome of the elections in favour of their opponents.
But in a media chat with journalists in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Abubakar, who is on tour of military formations in the country, announced a transformation process in the Nigerian military.
He stated that the military was very professional in the exercise of its responsibilities during the much criticised elections.
He said the military in its operations in relation to elections, has the responsibility to secure the electorates and create a peaceful atmosphere for the conduct of elections.