By Johnson Okorogu
This intervention won’t have been necessary if a couple of those who should know had not joined in the cheap criticism of the most decent Security Agency in Nigeria.
In the past one month or so, the Department of State Services, DSS, has been on the negative side of the news for nothing other than doing the job for which it was established.
The negative reports are a product of misinformation, deliberate misinformation, aimed at calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
It began, gradually, with the lies and misinformation to the members of the public by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, one of the Counsels to the Federal Government-proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPoB, and its detained Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. From the first day Kanu was arrested in Nairobi, Kenya till date, Ejiofor has fed the public with false news, false information, mischief-filled, and has succeeded in misleading the people, especially, unsuspecting youths in the South-east.
While Ejiofor is in his house and/or office, enjoying life with the money he has made from IPoB and its leader, he is inciting hundreds of Igbo youths to violence, and leading them to their untimely deaths. I will get back to this shortly.
In the instant case, the DSS is being pillioried for warning the Country of the dangers ahead stemming from the antics of politicians who are angling for an Interim National Government, the evil which was first foisted on us by General Ibrahim Babangida
Following the conduct of the General Elections on 25th February and 18th March, 2023, every Nigerian knows that the Country is on edge. Every Nigerian knows that Politicians are doing everything to precipitate violence and push Nigeria into avoidable crisis. Tension has been unnecessarily high. Fake stories reign, and Politicians are busy planning evil and pushing the Country to the precipice. They are fanning the embers of hatred and fire. They are fanning internal insurrection in the name of protesting the outcome of the General Elections, especially, the Presidential election.
To keep the Country safe, to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, all the DSS did was to warn Nigerians against such behaviors that could destroy the Country. All it did was to tell Nigerians not to spark off violence which could push the Country into abyss, and destroy the it. This, the DSS did by way of a statement issued by its Spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya.
By warning Nigerians against the dangers ahead if Politicians continue to heat up the system, the DSS was only keeping to its schedule of duties which is to sniff out internal troubles, through intelligence gathering, and nip them in the bud. That was all the DSS did – warn and alert that we know what you are planning, so stop, keep off, stay off.
In the statement, Afunanya warned that the Service is aware of the activities of some Politicians aimed at causing trouble and, therefore, abort our hard-earned democracy. It warned against activities which could abort a smooth hand-over of power from one Government to the other on May 29, 2023. It warned against protests and frivolous Court Cases aimed at aborting a new Government, and foisting an Interim National Government on the Country.
The statement did not mention any particular persons or Political Party.
The statement did not ask aggrieved parties not to seek legal interventions in Court, afterall it was the Federal Government that set up the Presidential Election Petition Tribunals.
The DSS knew what it was talking about. There are examples to back it. The crisis in all the frontline Political Parties where the Courts are being used to sack the Executive Members of the Parties, particularly, the removal of Chairmen and other high profile members of the Parties prove there is a grand plan to destabilize the Government, and abort 29th May. When all the main political parties are destabilized, using the Courts, then, there will be no 29th May. Before we know it, we will have a a June 12, 1993 situation where the late Arthur Nzeribe used one Abimbola Davies to plunge the Country into unnecessary turmoil.
It follows the same pattern, and, if not checked, will gradually explode.
In the past three weeks, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has removed its National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu. Before that, a number of people were asking for the sack of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu. The push has not been dropped. A few days ago, it infected the Labour Party. A move was made, through the Courts, to throw out its National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure. A Court granted the removal bid. It took the self-will of the Party to save him. The end has still not been seen. Since then, the APC has either been suspending or expelling its high profile members – Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, Chairman of the Njger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Lauretta Onochie, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, etc. The PDP did the same, but was quick to recall about four of them including former Senate President, Pius Anyim, and two former Governors. Another former Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani remains expelled from the Party. There are more from other Political Parties. If these are not signs of destabilization, and a bid to precipitate crisis and abort 29th May, 2023, then I don’t know what is.
Add those to the hate speeches by Politicians and their supporters, not to forget the incitement by Ejiofor in the South-east.
It is surprising that the Igbo Leadership and the elite cannot see through the misinformation Ejiofor dishes out all the time on Kanu, especially, each time he visits the IPoB leader at the DSS facility where he is kept. Nobody is interrogating the false information Ejiofor dishes out on Kanu in order to keep himself in business. For Ejiofor, Kanu and IPoB are his meal ticket, his ATM. He deliberately paints a dreary picture of Kanu’s situation to keep himself in business. Kanu and IPoB oil his business. Otherwise, has anybody heard Ejiofor’s name in any other case except that of Kanu and IPoB where his mischief knows no end.
Ejiofor continuously gives the impression that it is the DSS which arrested and kept Kanu in its custody. Or that it is the DSS which requested that Kanu be kept in its custody. The true picture is that it is a Federal High Court that remanded Kanu in the DSS custody for safety. To be in the DSS custody happens to be one of the safest and most decent facilities where anybody could keep him. The leadership of the DSS is polished and professionally carries out its duties.
When the pressure was on, through Ejiofor, to relocate Kanu from the DSS facility and keep him in Prison custody, it was a mischievous ploy. It was a plan to put Kanu in harm’s way and blame the Government so Ejiofor can make more money with his propaganda.
A number of people who Kanu misled, and thus got in trouble, are in prison custody in Abuja over one atrocity or the other they committed, including murder, especially, of security agents. Having realized their folly, and knowing that they were incited into embarking on a murderous journey they knew nothing about, they are filled with anger and regrets. Detain Kanu with them in prison custody, and they would lynch him. The Government is conscious of this. For one moment, think of what could have happened if Kanu was in Kuje prisons when the facility was invaded by terrorists.
Everybody that had gone to visit Kanu at the DSS facility, except Ejiofor, confirms that Kanu is in good hands, good environment, and doing well. He is healthy, well taken care of, provided with everything he asks for, including special meals, provided with good medical care, and exercise facilities. The only minus is that, like any other detention facility, his movements are restricted.
But this is not the impression Ejiofor gives to the public. He gives the impression of a starving Kanu whose health is failing, whose heart is very diseased, and who is going blind. None of these is true. It is based on such stories, on such lies, that the youths in the South-east are dangerously incited. They foolishly embark on a killing spree of their own people and Security Agents, and torch public facilities. Is Kanu being held or being tried by his own people who have now become victims of his unending and fruitless suicidal journey?
The South-east needs to be honest to itself. People like Ejiofor are not allowing it to be honest to itself because of the lies they put out. Ejiofor is not allowing them to interrogate the lies he tells them. Ejiofor knows very well the unprecedented violence Kanu has wrought on his people and Security Agents. Is there anybody who has not listened to Kanu speak. Is there anybody who has not, or did not listen to Kanu order his followers to kill Security Agents? In which other Country is such allowed? Is there anybody who has not, or did not hear Kanu insult the elders of the South-east and call all its Leaders useless (Efulefu)? Is there anybody who has not, or did not hear Kanu call for the outright beheading of people. All the atrocities in the South-east emanated from Kanu. There are evidences. The violence which has taken over the South-east all emanated from Kanu. Neither he nor his followers can control what he started.
Kanu single-handedly brought the economy of the South-east to ground zero. He introduced the sit-at-home order every Monday and had many people killed over it, and their businesses destroyed.
Simon Ekpa is a product of Nnamdi Kanu. When Kanu and IPoB realized their folly in introducing the sit-at-home order, and cancelled it, Ekpa continued from where his comrades and their master stopped. Sit-at-home has become a weapon and a meal ticket. They raid people’s shops and loot on such days. They extort some people of their money and hold others to ransome. Kidnapping booms in the South-east because of their unwholesome activities. Every criminal takes refuge in being an IPOB member. The Region has been taken over by criminal gangs because of what Kanu and IPoB started.
One of the reasons many people came to the conclusion that Ejiofor is not anxious for Kanu to be released is that instead of Ejiofor to sound conciliatory, or, at least, present the correct situation of Kanu, and plead for his Client who wrought poverty, violence and death upon his people, killed Security Agents and destroyed and razed both private and public buildings and facilities, Ejiofor is busy lying against the DSS. He is busy lying about Kanu’s welfare and health. By doing so, deliberately, he hardens the heart of the Service which has been kind to his Client, and the heart of the Government, all because he wants Kanu and IPoB to remain his ATM. Those lies have neither helped Kanu’s case, nor the South-east.
It was because of the threat by Ekpa, Kanu’s disciple, that Obi lost out on the number of votes he could have garnered in the South-east. None of the five States in the South-east registered less than one million voters. But because of the fear of the violence and death threatened by Ekpa on Voters, they stayed away on the Presidential election day. Yes, Peter Obi of the Labour Party won in the South-east, but with how many votes? But for Kanu/Ekpa, nobody would have been talking about Tinubu’s number of Votes with which he defeated Obi. Obi lost over three million votes because of Ekpa’s threats.
The elders and leaders of the South-east should be ashamed. Out of cowardice, they have allowed IPoB, Ekpa and Ejiofor to destroy the Region.
The DSS is not going to succumb to their blackmail, just as it is not going to succumb to the blackmail of those who think the Service is crying wolf over the warning against the plans for Interim Government.
The DSS raised the alarm because something was cooking. It raised the alarm because it knows the dangers of an Interim National Government.
Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, introduced an Interim National Government in 1993 and installed the now late Chief Ernest Shonekan as the Head of the ill-fated Government. It lasted from 26th August 1993 to 17th November 1993 when it was flushed out by the Military. That misadventure ushered in the regime of General Sani Abacha from which Nigeria has not fully recovered till date.
The DSS did well to raise the alarm in order to stop those planning for an ING on their tracks. Knowing that their plans have been exposed, they would abort it. The DSS didn’t need to mention the names of the culprits, or raise more tension in the Country by arresting them. They know themselves, they know that eyes are on them, and have taken note.