By Obinna Akukwe @Obinna Akukwe
President Muhammadu Buhari has come under intense pressure from various security top brass to disband the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Secret Police. This is due to the alleged infamous role the once prestigious institution played in futile attempt to truncate democracy.
Top security sources who spoke to the leadership of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) on conditions of anonymity said that there are four groups that want the DSS to be overhauled. The first group believes that the DSS should be disbanded out rightly and its operatives absorbed into the Nigerian Police Force, if they so wish.
The second group wants the DSS to be another department within the Nigerian Army, complementing the DMI, just as the Road Safety (FRSC) was forced to be under the Nigerian Police for a while before public outcry delivered them.
The third pressure group believes that President Buhari should sideline and render them redundant, starved of funds and made irrelevant while the fourth group wants a complete overhaul of the leadership of the body, and the sack of about forty officers identified as acting in manners inimical to the security of the nation.
Reeling out the sins of the DSS, the security sources told the leadership of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) that the DSS has a hand in the failed attempt to assassinate President Buhari last year. Other alleged misconduct of the DSS include:
1. Conniving with agents of terrorism by withholding sensitive information that there is a plot assassinate Muhammadu Buhari while the later was on his way from Abuja to Katsina, an event that led to the death of over 100 Nigerians in Kawo Area of Kaduna State in July, 2014
2. Conniving with agents of terrorism to withhold information that there is an attempt to checkmate the excesses of the Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by allowing agents of terrorism to attack Kano Central Mosque in November, 2014, leading to death of over 200 persons
3. Bugging all the telephones lines , email and spying on prominent opposition leaders especially Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu, Rotimi Amechi, Rabiu Kwqakwanso, Nasir El Rufai among others and using the information so obtained as instruments of political blackmail.
4 Labelling Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) as sponsors of Boko Haram while intelligence sources proves contrary.
5 Deploying operatives in Anambra State to ensure that the APC Gubernatorial candidate , Dr Chris Ngige, was rigged out by ensuring that election materials never reached the strongholds of the former governor, thereby denying the APC a strong foothold in South East
6. Deploying operatives of the DSS to help the PDP rig out Governor Fayemi of Ekiti State, thereby denying the APC another victory at the polls
7. Deploying the same apparatus in Osun State, an act vehemently resisted by the masses.. Deploying masked security men round the capital of Osun State in such a manner that portrayed them as terrorists.
8. Making spurious claims that the opposition APC has hacked into INEC date base, a claim the electoral umpire disclaimed. Based on such spurious claims, raiding the Lagos State Headquarters of the APC and carting away confidential files, all in an attempt to blackmail and intimidate the opposition.
9. Detaining the contractor who printed the PVC Card Reader without due process, until days after the elections were over
10. Producing, through the unethical release of classified information, documentaries meant to tarnish the image of Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu and causing such to be aired on electronic media.
11. Stripping naked and forcing Pastor Musa Dikwa to write a letter of apology to leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), ,Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, for claiming that some pastors were given N7 billion naira to initiate hate campaigns against the person of Muhammadu Buhari.
12 Initiating, suggesting, contacting and making plans to truncate democracy in the event of a Buhari victory at the polls by making arrangements and contacts for a possible Interim Government.
13. Making contingency plans that in case the interim government option sails through, those marked as strong resistance to be eliminated by the strike force.
14 Giving undue security covering to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, known Boko Haram Sponsor
Therefore, a highly disappointed Buhari was said not to be disposed to working with a set of people who are brazen in their attempt to truncate democracy, when they are established to protect the state. That was why he rejected a recent attempt to post about 234 operatives to the Villa, and also rejected attempts to post a new person to him as the CSO. The DSS have also not been privy to sensitive security briefings since Buhari was sworn in.
Igbo Mandate Congress cannot verify the veracity of these information and the culpability of the DSS as alleged, however, contacts and friends of the group, especially in Kano, Abuja, Borno , Yobe, Bauchi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kaduna States and some parts of the north have from time to time, especially at the peak of Boko Haram attacks shared intelligence with agents of the DSS and their response has been proactive.
During the spates of bombings in Igbo dominated Sabon Gari and other parts of Kano, IMC coordinators received and released intelligence information to relevant DSS quarters either directly or through concerned prominent citizens,and their responses helped to stem the tide of terrorism in Kano and some parts of the north.
IMC is aware of the professional role DSS played in snuffing terrorism out of Abuja, Kogi, Kaduna and forestalling possible spillovers in the South East and South West States. The arrest of kabiru Sokoto, Abu Qaqa and other leaders of Boko Haram at the earlier stages are due to their professional dexterity
However, IMC recalled that at the peak of planned invasion of Borno by the insurgents earlier in the year, one of their coordinators made contacts with a top government official to obtain permission to mobilize few thousand Igbo Youth to join their northern volunteers and hunters to fight the terrorists. This topmost government official, who sees former President Jonathan on a daily basis, after audience with the then President, asked our coordinator to work with ex Governor Ali Modu Sheriff.
IMC believes that Ali Modu Sheriff is a sponsor of Boko Haram and will not have anything to do with him, and therefore discontinued with the discussion. However, on inquiry at why a Boko Haram founder will be asked to work with volunteers, IMC were told that the DSS security reports exonerated him of such allegations.
IMC believes that the DSS was able to show rare professionalism in some aspects of its war against Boko Haram, and as such does not deserve outright disbandment and these views were disseminated to the complaining security quarters. However, IMC is aware that the DSS was unduly sympathetic to a continuation of the President Jonathan regime, which is divergent from the views of IMC, which prefers and supported a change of guard.
Igbo Mandate Congress, known worldwide as a stakeholder in the ‘Change’ being celebrated in Nigeria today, participated in ensuring that Igbos in the North rejected some directives from some Ohanaeze and compromised Igbo leaders to vote for the expired “Transformational Agenda” .
The Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, Rev Obinna Akukwe condemned publicly the assassination attempt on Buhari and fingered those he termed as ‘PDP Boko Haram Members’ as being behind the plot to kill the then opposition leader and plunge Nigeria into another civil war. However, it does not have information of the culpability of the DSS in the event.