I can’t be intimidated by Buhari’s DSS operatives, says Fayose

Ayo-Fayose

• PDP, rights group condemn invasion of Ekiti Assembly

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has declared that even if the state was invaded by one million armed men of the Department of State Service (DSS) on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari, “they government and the people of the state will never be intimidated to surrender governance of the state to political desperadoes whose four years reign destroyed the economy of the state.”

The governor, who said the DSS under President Buhari was operating beyond its constitutional mandate, added that “the government of Ekiti State may have to reconsider the usefulness of men of the DSS in the Government House and other institutions of the state government.”

In a statement issued yesterday and signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government was pursuing a clandestine agenda of truncating democracy in Ekiti State and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states like Rivers and Bayelsa.

He said: “If Buhari likes, let him relocate all DSS men in Nigeria with the entire ammunition in their Armoury to Ekiti State, the will of Ekiti people can never be broken. They will only try, and like they have always done, they will fail because dictatorship has never triumphed over the people.”

In another development, the Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a human rights organisation under the aegis of Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) have condemned last weekend’s invasion of the state House of Assembly complex by armed operatives of the DSS, describing it as a return of military dictatorship experienced during the rule of Gen. Buhari from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1984.

In a statement by the state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the party said the invasion of the Assembly complex has shown that Buhari has not discarded his dictatorial tendency, even when he was inaugurated last May as a civilian president.

The party added that President Buhari, by the action, had shown that he “preferred to conquer Nigeria instead of governing it”.

The PDP said that Ekiti people would resist any attempt to truncate democracy or cause confusion in the state, adding that any attempt to continue to intimidate, harass and abduct members of the party in the state would be regarded as an affront.

Also reacting to the issue in a signed statement yesterday by the CHRSJ’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, the group called for the unconditional release of the Assembly members that were whisked away by the security agents to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, with no just cause than being lawmakers of the opposition political party in the land, demanding for unreserved public apology from the Federal Government led by Gen. Buhari (rtd) and authority of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to the good people of Ekiti State, including the State Assembly for causing psychological trauma for them.

Meanwhile, the APC in Ekiti State has asked the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, to encourage his colleagues to submit themselves to the law over their alleged crimes against the nation’s constitution instead of embarking on blackmail to whip up sentiments for underserved public sympathy.

But reacting to the Speaker’s allegation of accusing President Buhari of witch-hunt over Fayose’s critical comments on the President, Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said in a statement that the accusation against the President was not strange to the observers of Fayose’s politics.

He said instead of accusing Buhari of persecution, it was the governor that was persecuting the opponents, citing attacks on the opposition and persecution of APC Chairman, Jide Awe, after the court struck out a motion against him but Fayose still went ahead to serve the motion in his house.

Olatunbosun said Fayose and Assembly members were not the first or only Nigerians to be invited by the DSS for investigation, citing the National Chairman, Victor Umeh, and other eminent Nigerians who had been invited to answer charges against them but were released after making their statements.

Governor Fayose said the DSS under Buhari’s kinsman, Lawal Daura, has abandoned its core mandate of providing intelligence for the protection of the internal security of Nigeria as provided in the Security Agencies Act Cap. N74 LFN, 2004, adding: “Instead of assisting the police, military and other security agencies with classified matters, we now have a DSS that is running after perceived opponents of the President, arresting goat and fowl thieves as well as husbands who assaulted their wives.”

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