The Department of State Services (DSS) on Thursday released a statement accusing the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, of working with an aide to Senate President Bukola Saraki to violently destabilise the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during the Christmas season in order to make the federal government look bad.
The accused aide of the senate president is one Ikenga Ugochinyere who was supposedly paid by Wike to mobilise hoodlums to execute the “sinister” and “violent” plan.
So far so good.
But here is where the DSS statement signed by Tony Opuiyo, begins to unravel. The agency says Gov. Wike wants to destabilize Abuja in order to divert public and international attention from the ongoing police investigation into “the unwholesome role played by the Governor and some of his cronies in the violence that trailed the re-run election in Rivers State which resulted in the gruesome murder of civilians including the beheading of DSP Mohammed Alkali and some of his colleagues as well as the brutalization of INEC staff who failed to do the bidding of the Governor.”
That’s nonsense. The police has not accused Gov. Wike of playing any “unwholesome role” or else there would have been no need to set up an investigative panel. The panel set up by the police IGP Ibrahim Idris is expected to investigate the role of security agents in the election, the violence during the poll, and will also examine the audio recording released by Sahara Reporters which purportedly shows Gov. Wike admitting to bribing INEC officials and making threats.
If the DSS believes that the governor and his “cronies” are guilty of violence, then they must have evidence, and if they already have evidence pinning the governor, then there is no need for further investigations.
Interestingly, the panel set up by the Police IG comprises of both police and DSS investigators. Since the DSS has already pronounced the governor guilty, then what hope is there of a fair investigation by the agency?
The violence which characterised the Rivers election was no small matter. There are accusations to go round – the APC is pointing fingers at Wike and his party, the PDP. Wike is accusing the APC, INEC, military, police, DSS, others. He has even set up a judicial commission of inquiry. Caught in between these two parties are the Nigerians who lost their lives, who deserve justice no matter who is responsible. Considering the partisan bent of the DSS (the investigating party), fairness and justice is now unlikely.
In its statement on Thursday, the DSS said the protesters to be hired by the governor will “besiege the National Human Rights Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Assembly, the Nigerian Army and Police Headquarters as well as British High Commission, US Embassy and the UN Secretariat, Abuja; all in an effort to raise false alarm that Rivers State was under siege of security agencies during the elections.
“While the obvious aim is to draw public sympathy and international attention to spurious allegations of involvement of Federal agencies in violence during the last elections in Rivers State, the actual objective is really to trigger a round of violent action against the government and create opportunity for idlers to join the deceitful protest.
“Part of the orchestration is to provoke the security agencies and prompt them to take action against the protesters that could result in bloodletting. It is in this line that Ikenga had gone to the outskirts of Abuja to mobilise unemployed youth to carry out his bidding. All this was to be done for a fee and resources to be provided from the treasury of the Rivers State Government.
“It is also worrisome that Ikenga would engage in this nefarious plot when, after his last arrest earlier this year by the Service, he had pledged to be law abiding and not to cause a breach of the peace.
“Though Ikenga is now at large, the trio of Emeka Idibia, Ugo Apuamagha and Ejike Nwachukwu have been arrested and are helping with further investigations. These men were picked up at the mobilisation venue trying to perfect the logistics for this unholy enterprise. The young men were hired by Ikenga to take custody of items and materials for the planned violent protest.
“The recovered items include banners, placards and posters with denigrating, inciting and hate inscriptions meant to impinge the authority of the federal government and further subvert the entire machinery of governance in the country.
“In order to make this look credible, Ikenga and his cohorts had adopted such groups as Lawyers in Defence of Democracy (LDD) and Citizens for Good Governance (CGG) as cover to supposedly make them look like serious minded civil rights groups and thus bring them into collision course with security agencies.
“Investigations have so far revealed that while IKENGA is the field organizer and coordinator of the planned protest, Governor WIKE is his sole financial sponsor. The DSS is disturbed that the Governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the State will stoop so low to hire thugs and hoodlums to attack the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and create an atmosphere of chaos and disorder at this yuletide season.”
Gov. Wike has denied the DSS accusations, while senate president Bukola Saraki has called for an investigation, saying that if his aide is found culpable, he should be prosecuted.