Fire-For-Fire Comment: Mbu A Political Jobber, Says Soyinka

Wole-SoyinkaNobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has faulted the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Joseph Mbu, for encouraging policemen under his command to kill 20 civilians for each one of their colleagues killed before, during and after the general elections.

Mbu, on Thursday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, had during his official visit to the Eleweran Command headquarters of Zone 2, also ordered constables posted to polling units for election duty to arrest even the governor of the state if they find him to be violating the law on Election Day.

“If one of my men is killed, I shall kill twenty of them but don’t shoot first. If they shoot you, shoot back in self-defence. Anybody who fires you, fire him back in self-defence. Our actions and activities will go a long way to decide this election, so, I have come to tell you that we must remain impartial in ensuring free, fair, peaceful and violent-free polls.

“As far as the law is concerned, we are not going to respect anybody and whoever is coming to the booth should vote and leave peacefully. Anyone who comes there to campaign, even if it is the chief executive of the state, a constable at that polling booth would stop him”, Mbu said.

But in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday, Soyinka described Mbu as a “political jobber” ready to be used by the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government.

“Goliath Mbu is the latest kid in town, fresh from his triumph in ‘taming’ governors all over the nation, and reveling in his new elevation for jobs well done. A political jobber by instinct though a clamberer through the police profession, he has wasted no time instructing his men to return violence for violence, fire for fire.

“He has been displaying his new attire and pips all over the place, demanding to be noticed – as if his facial snarl is not already plastered over the pages of media annals of police infamy, reminiscent of the good old days of one Inspector-General (Sunday) Adewusi, who would appear on television dripping with gas-canisters and grenades, with a detachment of Kill-and-Go”, the Nobel laureate stated.

According to Soyinka, the police chief’s actions and words are similar to that of Adewusi.

He said, “Is history about to repeat itself in microcosm? Adewusi was sacked by the Buhari coup and vanished from the police political rostrum”.

Soyinka also expressed his regrets and anger over the failure of successive governments to punish persons like Adewusi for their impunity, rather he said those who have acted with impunity were usually accorded state recognition.

“This warped apportionment of deserving it must be that drives such officials to treasonable conduct under democracies. If the trend changes and even the police are made to account for abuses of office, abuses of the collective rights of citizens, then perhaps we might see the end of arrogant partisanship in the performance of police duties”, he added.