The National – Monday, January 31, 2011
By JUNIOR UKAHA
FORMER police commissioner, Gari Baki, has said he is still commissioner of police.
In a statement to The National yesterday, he called on acting police commissioner Tony Wagambie to mind his own business and not to talk about his (Baki’s) suspension as the head of the police force.
Baki made this call after Wagambie made a public statement last Friday in the Post-Courier saying that his (Baki’s) contract had expired and that he effectively held no legal position within the constabulary.
“I am still police commissioner under suspension and it is a matter for NEC to decide on and not for Wagambie to comment,” he said.
Baki said his suspension was the prerogative of the NEC and no-one, including Wagambie, should go to the media and make comments about it.
“The questions and allegations raised and the subsequent publicity and scrutiny generated have called my integrity into question.”
He added that his tenure as the commissioner of police from day one had been plagued by political infighting and in-house squabbling never before experienced in the history of the police force and which Wagambie was a part of.
Baki said that during his time as police commissioner he had made four reconciliation ceremonies with senior police hierarchy officials, including Wagambie, but things had back-fired on him as people were going behind his back, politicising the constabulary’s leadership.
He also called on Wagambie and acting deputy Fred Yakasa not to suppress the freedom of the media to disseminate information, saying they should know better and learn to accept criticism and scrutiny as leaders.
“If the public and beauracrats are concerned about the way the police force is being run at the moment, they have every right to air their views especially through the media – that’s what democracy is all about,” he said.