Musa Kimo is the new commissioner of police. He is barely a week old in Akwa Ibom State and is currently at loggerheads with the state governor, Udom Emmanuel. A section of the state, particularly those in the PDP are not happy with him. They accused him of taking sides with some members of the APC in the state house of assembly who tried to take over power by force.
But Kimo told TNN in a telephone interview that whatever was being said about him on the matter have been tissues of lies. Specifically, he said the governor lied when he accused him of being sponsored to take sides in his handling of the crisis in the house of assembly.
His interview was transcribed by VICTORIA KALU.
I will like us to talk about the crisis in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, vis a vis the governor's accusations against you.
The governor is entitled to whatever he wants to do. But I will tell you that 100 per cent, not 99 per cent of all that he said is false, totally false. It was just a political statement.
He is accusing you of taking sides, he is accusing you of being sponsored by.......
(cuts in) I have told you that 100 per cent, not 99 per cent of all the allegations are false and I maintain my words. That time you called me, I was in a meeting with people here and there, all in search of peace, all for them to know me, all for them to know that I am here to fight crime and to also let them know that I cannot do it alone, that I require the cooperation and support of everybody, whether you are one second old, whether you are 100 years old. We are apolitical, non partisan, we are neutral, we are fair and just, and that is what we will continue to do, you have known me and I have not changed.
Yes, I have known you since when you were in Rivers State.
So, because I have changed place(of assignment) doesn't mean I have changed, it is not me.
And now they are calling for your head, that you have to be moved out of Akwa Ibom ......how do you look at it?
No problem, God knows best, you understand.
How would you describe what is happening in Akwa Ibom right now?
Well, I will just appeal to people to be calm, to go about their lawful businesses, as we are out to ensure protection of lives and property, with the assistance and cooperation of well meaning, law abiding people of this good state, that is just my prayer and my request and my appeal. And to tell people that we are apolitical, we are non partisan, we will continue to be neutral, we will be professional in the discharge of our duties, that is it. And that whatever is said, it is negation, that is, it is false.
How would you describe your relationship with Godswill Akpabio?
He is a Nigerian like me, and is an ex- governor; so I have to give him his due respect anytime I see him, just like any other person. Every human being is brought to this life by God, so the person requires my respect, especially as a policeman. We are servants of God. I don't have any personal relationship with anybody. My relationship with people is official. My relationship that is personal is only that of my wife and my children, that's all.
What would you also say about the relationship between you and the governor of Akwa Ibom state, because I know that once a new CP gets into the state....
It is a misconception and there is gap. With time, he will know whether I am that type or not. Unfortunately, it has come to be so, but I know with God on our side, not only with him, but with all the responsible and good people of the state. I am not perturbed, I will be professional in the discharge of my duties. If God says I will stay a minute here, fine, if God say no, I will not, fine, I am not God.
Does it worry you that the governor is lying against you?
Certainly it should worry me as a human being, it should worry me. But as a Christian, is it not said that forgive them? It is painful but what can I say? It has been done. But God knows I am not that type, and we are in a democracy. So anybody is free to say whatever he or she wants or can say. And I as a Christian will not condemn him for the statement he made. I will always pray God to touch his heart and mind for him to see reasons that what he said is not true.
When five members of the house of assembly invaded the house, with policemen giving them cover, how did you feel?
That is not known to me. Me as a police officer, I'm only here to maintain law and order. That is not known to me, and it is not in my place to decide what they do there. You understand? I am here to maintain law and order. What they do is their business, I have no directive, I don't have any order, I don't have any mandate from any quarter to allow or disallow anybody. All I can do is to ensure that miscreants do not go there and disturb people in doing their business, either in the house of assembly, or in their respective business places, or in their homes. Do you understand?
It is only the court. And I plead with people to be patient, if you have any problem with anybody, be it political, be it whatever, we have a law in this country, you explore legal action. If you are patient, you will always reach the promise land as this state is known. Do you understand?
So the question of this and that, all these things are not our fault. And we the police have no mandate, we don't have any mandate to talk to Mr. A or Mr. B, no no no, not at all. And we don't want to know, all these is to ensure that everybody lives in peace to do his or her own business, and we should not be dragged into this thing, no no no.
Do you see the possibility of politicians in Akwa Ibom trying to use you?
I don't see it because I am a God fearer and I always do what is right.
So those five house of assembly members that were suspended, that invaded the assembly, any plans to arrest them?
My dear brother, it is you that know that they invaded it, I can't say that. Do you understand? It's not in my place. It's only the court that has competence to confirm whether what they did is lawful or unlawful, it's not in my place. I have told you that I am here for everybody, to maintain law and order and peace. So the issue that they invaded is not known to me.
2019 election is on the way. How do you intend to police Akwa Ibom state because things like this are signals of what may happen during the main election.
That's why I am talking to you, and talking to everybody to see reasons and maintain peace. Do you know that this is just my third day? On Monday, I even called stakeholders' meeting of all the political parties and I introduced myself and sought their cooperation and appealed to them to eschew violence, to shun all these thuggery. We prayed when we started and we also prayed at the end of the meeting. And we all agreed that we will maintain and sustain peace. Unfortunately, the devil is always there roaring around the corner. But with God on our side, I don't think we have anything to fear. What is important is, we should come up as a family and as a unit to ensure that we do the right thing with fear of God and to be Christ-like in whatever we are doing. As for the politicians, they should play by the rules. And where there is any grudge or any problem, they should ensure not to take the laws into their hands. Above all, two wrongs don't make a right. If I am wrong, you shouldn't be wrong. You can go to court patiently even though you may laugh last, but I think if you laugh last, you will laugh the better and best.
What promise would you give to miscreants, what promise would you give to hoodlums, cultists in Akwa Ibom State of what you are capable of doing if they misbehave?
You don't expect me to fold my arms, you don't expect my policemen and other law enforcement agencies and people who are law abiding to fold their arms and allow miscreants, hoodlums to perpetrate crime, because if we allow them, we won't have peace. And we need peace especially at this critical period or moment. And so with the cooperation of everybody including you, we will deal with them, we will grab them, and responsibly, if they don't want to repent, they should leave the state.
What are your final words to the governor?
No problem, he knows better than me, he is the chief security officer. But I know by the grace of God, he will see reasons and retrace his steps, that's all. It's one of those things, I consider it as one of those things. And I don't have ill feelings, I don't. I will continue to do my job with the fear of God.