The governor of Bayelsa State, Hon Seriake Dickson, has appealed to the leaders and people of the Niger Delta to accept the apology tendered by the police authorities to Ijaw National Leader, Pa Edwin Clark, following the raid of his Abuja residence by policemen.
The governor commended the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, for the thoughtful act of tendering an apology to the 92-year-old Niger Delta elder and leader as a follow up to the unfortunate raid of his residence.
A statement by the special adviser to the governor on Media Relations, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, stated that the governor made the call while addressing a meeting of Ijaw youths in his country home of Toru Orua, yesterday.
He commended the move by the inspector general and police authorities to send a high-powered delegation, led by the deputy inspector general of police in charge of Operations, Mr Habitat Joshak, to convey their apologies to Pa Clark.
Governor Dickson, who had earlier called on the police authorities to apologise to Pa Clark, the Ijaw Nation and Nigerians in general over the action, 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.
However, the Bayelsa governor urged the IGP to institute a mechanism to prevent the rampant harassment of innocent citizens by police operatives on frivolous allegations, causing harassment and destruction of properties across the country, and thereby denting the image of the police and the government.
He said that it had become necessary for the IGP to adopt measures to stop the undemocratic practice in order to prevent innocent citizens from traumatic harassment by state agents.
He stressed that the failure of the police to discover arms and ammunition in the residences of those raided by the police, only showed the need for the IGP to take a second look at his internal mechanisms to prevent abuse.
He said, “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 IGP 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 demonstrates 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 IGP and indeed the police authorities to stop the rampant harassment of 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, shows the need for the IGP to overhaul his internal mechanism to prevent abuse.”