PDP Kicks As DSS Lays Siege On Dasuki, Ex-NSA | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Kicks As DSS Lays Siege On Dasuki, Ex-NSA

Posted: Jul 18, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Rotimi Akinwunmi, Chesa Chesa (Abuja) and Yaqoub Popoola, Ado-Ekiti


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday condemned in strong terms the continued siege laid to the residence of immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) since Thursday with armed operatives preventing access into his residence.

The party accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government of fostering draconian and authoritarian rule on the nation and has reported the matter to the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI) for onward report to President Barrack Obama of the United States.

National Security Adviser - Sambo Dasuki

National Security Adviser – Sambo Dasuki

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, who paid a visit to the residence of the former NSA and was barred by the security operatives from gaining access, described Dasuki’s travail as illegal and unconstitutional.

Speaking on behalf of his party, he alleged that the restriction of the former NSA’s movement was undemocracy, noting that Nigerians were becoming scared.

Olisa Metuh visited Sambo’s house around 12.55 p.m. and was politely rebuffed by the security men.

He, like a couple that also visited the residence, did not raise his voice against the security men, but politely left the house.

Recounting his ordeal, Metuh told newsmen who kept vigil that he was refused entry by security operatives on account that the house was under security watch.

The PDP spokesman who said he had the mandate of his party to visit the former NSA, also described the scenario as political persecution, stressing that what Dasuki is going through is a extension of persecution of people loyal to former President Goodluck Jonathan by the current administration.

According to Metuh: “I came into Abuja today because I read the situation about the invasion of the house of the former NSA and his detention and house arrest. So, I drove to his house as a personal friend to see him and to find out what is happening.

“About seven or eight security operatives came out and they said that I cannot see him because the house is under security watch. And I asked them, security watch in terms of treason or terrorism? And they said they are not in a position to say.

“And why I asked this question is that if he were under security watch on account of corruption or any other reason, then it’s totally against the constitution of this country because this is a democracy and democratic tenets and principles apply.

“The fact is that we deserve basic freedom, liberty and movements associated with democracy.

“The truth is that Nigerians are getting scared. They voted for the President and he was duly elected. And now he’s the father of the nation; he’s the father of everyone. He’s not supposed to be serving any other interest.

“But there are certain activities by some of his aides and people around him; it’s like they are taking us back to the military era where we were coming from.

“The last time this happened was under the military. There has never been any situation where people will be held against their will. It is completely against his fundamental human rights. And we should be careful here because this was how it started in Zimbabwe and other countries. Before you know it,  we will have a dictatorship,” he stated.

Sounding tough, Metuh told the administration: “You cannot scare us. We are not guilty because we served under a former President. We are not guilty because we lost an election. We are not losers in a war. We lost an election, not a war. We are not prisoners of war and we should not be treated like prisoners of war.

“What we demand is that we deserve the respect; there is Rule of Law.

“We will not condone corrupt activities or any other unlawful or illegal act. If anybody has committed anything against the laws of Nigeria, let him be invited, let there be investigation, if there is a warrant of arrest or a judge can rule that he should be detained. But the fact that you shroud things in mystery and you invade someone’s house, occupy his house and detain him against his will. It’s an anathema in a democracy.”

A DSS source confirmed to Saturday Independent last night that although Dasuki’s Abuja home was vacated late last night, his international passport was seized by the operatives.

Also on Friday, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, condemned the invasion of the Abuja and Sokoto residences of Dasuki, warning that persecution of PDP stalwarts and others opponents by the APC “Federal Government was an ominous sign of imminent return of dictatorship and draconian rule in Nigeria.”

The governor, who expressed belief that the invasion of Dasuki’s homes may not have the backing of President Mohammadu Buhari, said “if this is being done by some people to please the president, he should check the excesses of those behind it and call them to order because overzealousness by those that are close to the president is inimical to the image of the government.”

In a statement in Ado-Ekiti by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said he was sad that democracy is already being put on trial, less than two months after Buhari assumed office.

For him, “rather than invading homes of Nigerians and putting people under house arrest, the government should invade Boko Haram territories and arrest the insurgents.”

For Fayose, “Buhari should rather keep Boko Haram under house arrest, not opposition party members. Those heavily armed security men that invaded Col. Dasuki’s Abuja and Sokoto homes should have been put to a better use by sending them to the Boko Haram ravaged North Eastern part of Nigeria.”

The governor asked: “Was there any invitation by the DSS to Col. Dasuki that he refused to honour? Isn’t it worrisome that in this democratic age, security agents could in a commando-like invade the house of a former NSA to carry out his arrest when there is no record that he was invited and he refused to honour the invitation, or that he resisted arrest?

“Could Col. Dasuki’s present ordeal be as a result of his advice that the presidential election be postponed?

“Is this not an indication of an impending clampdown on PDP members and other Nigerians perceived not to be on the same page with the President Buhari-led APC government?

“We in the PDP supported our party during the presidential election like every other loyal party members should do, should this display of support for our party and its candidate now warrant persecution by the Federal Government?

“If Col. Dasuki actually committed any offence to warrant his arrest and questioning by the DSS or any of the country’s security agencies, shouldn’t warrant of arrest have been issued against him? Shouldn’t he have been invited by the DSS instead of invading his houses and sealing them off in a commando-liked manner?

“Nigerians must therefore rise against this emerging dictatorship and save the country’s democracy from imminent collapse because today, it is Col. Dasuki, tomorrow it can be any other person.”

Dasuki who was fired early in the week along with the service chiefs, had his movement restricted on Thursday evening, when he was placed under house arrest by DSS operatives who gave no reason for their actions.

The Presidency did not offer explanations, describing the travails of the ex-security chief as a security matter over which the DSS would issue a statement Friday to explain developments.

But authorities of the DSS refused to respond to inquiries by newsmen on its action, even when its operatives confirmed that Dasuki and all persons at his residence were under house arrest.

A source said Dasuki’s two houses, one in Abuja and another in Sokoto, have been under siege by SSS operatives since Thursday.

It was gathered that among those inside the Abuja home of the former NSA is Colonel Bello Fadile (retd), who was visiting Sambo when the SSS personnel took over the property. Fadile worked as an aide to Dasuki while he served as NSA.