The Igbos have a saying that when a child is dancing boldly in the middle of the road, there must be someone drumming for him in a nearby bush. At the moment, AIG Joseph Mbu has embarked on a dance, not necessary in the middle of the road, but certainly a dance of madness. So the question is: who is doing the drumming?
Last week, MBU flagrantly abused his office and broke the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when he ordered the arrest, detention and arraignment of the Independent Television (AIT) journalist, Mr. Amaechi Anakwe. He was frivolously arraigned before a magistrate court, somewhere in Abuja, charged with defaming the almighty Mbu when he referred to him in a television broadcast as “controversial”.
The court discharged the journalist after prosecuting counsel informed the court that the charge has been withdrawn. Probably, those doing the drumming have drummed it into Mbu’s ears that he was dancing out of script.
Seriously, it is very worrisome when in a democracy an enforcer of the law of Mbu’s standing decides to break the law with impunity and act to please his whims and caprices. It is outrageous to set the machinery of punitive law in motion just because he, rightly or wrongly, felt that his ego has been bruised.
If Mbu, in his judgment, considers the word controversial as slander, then he overtly puts his rise to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police in question.
In case he is interested in learning what being controversial means, it simply means being a subject of divergent or conflicting opinions. And if the antecedents of the policeman during his times in Rivers State as Commissioner of Police are benchmarks, yes he is a controversial figure, because people having different opinions about him and his service as a uniformed man.
Was it not Mbu who, after his elevation to the rank of AIG, needlessly boasted in public that he was the lion that tamed the leopard of Port Harcourt. He was referring to Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers.
Such utterances against a man with a popular mandate can only pitch him against Amaechi’s loyalists and thus make him controversial. The sad thing was that Mbu said what he said during an official function, as he handed over to the new FCT Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu. “Each time he (Amaechi) remembers my face, he would remember how I tamed him,” he had jested.
It was simply unfitting on the part of Mbu to say such a thing. It is only in Nigeria that a public servant will publicly boast to have dealt with his boss and yet get rewarded with a higher post. Governor Amaechi is the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State and Mbu, then as Commissioner of Police, should have taken orders from him, concurrently with the ones that came from the Police Headquarters in Abuja.
In a serious country Mbu would have been disciplined or, at least, cautioned.
It was a continuation of Mbu’s dance of madness. Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the President, was publicly fingered as being the drummer-in-chief of the music to which Mbu was or is still dancing.
Governor Amaechi responding to Mbu’s claim of being the lion who tamed the leopard of Port Harcourt said: “How can ……a man who willingly submits himself to serve as the puppet of a woman call himself a lion? How ironic! Mr. Mbu, no lion behaves like that!” He concluded by calling him a shameless, corrupt puppet and toothless attack dog of a woman (Dame Patience Jonathan).”
The truth is bitter. Whether he likes it or not, the truth of the matter is that Mbu has, through his actions and utterances, turned himself into a controversial figure in the geo-political space called Nigeria. And the work of a journalist is to say or report things as they are. Therefore, to arrest and detain a journalist in a country that constitutionally guarantees free speech is a mad dance taken too far.
If Mbu has a phobia for the word controversy, he did himself no favors by ordering the arrest and detention of the AIT journalist. By doing so, he only swam deeper into the sea of controversy. It appears to me that he did what he did because he has got intoxicated by power or even driven insane by it and by the godfathers and godmothers he thinks are solidly behind him. But it must be made crystal-clear to him that nobody is above the law. Not him; not even the President or his wife.
AIG Mbu must be made to account for breaking the law he was commissioned and paid to enforce and protect. President Goodluck Jonathan is one of those who have benefited immensely from this democracy. Now it is time to defend and uphold the values of the system. Nigerians expect him to direct the Inspector General of Police to commence disciplinary proceedings against Mbu.
He should be compulsorily retired or at least demoted for his unlawful act. Nothing less would suffice. As far as this writer is concerned, as an officer of the law, Mbu has outlived his usefulness. It has become increasingly difficult to tell whether he is a policeman or a politician.
The writer is Charles Ofoji email@example.com