Following last Friday’s alleged invasion of the Ekiti State House of Assembly by the Department of State Services, Governor Ayodele Fayose has said he will have to reconsider the deployment of DSS operatives at the Government House and other establishments in the state.
The governor alleged that the DSS under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari was now operating outside its constitutional mandate.
Fayose, however, vowed that he and the people of Ekiti State would not be cowed by one million armed DSS operatives.
“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”, Fayose said in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka.
According to the governor, the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government was pursuing a clandestine agenda of truncating democracy in Ekiti State and other Peoples Democratic Party-controlled states like Rivers and Bayelsa.
“If Buhari likes, let him relocate all DSS men in Nigeria with the entire ammunition in their armoury to Ekiti, the will of Ekiti people can never be broken”, he said.
“They will only try, and like they have always done, they will fail because dictatorship has never triumphed over the people.
“Even Buhari’s dictatorship between 1984 and 1985 ended one day and Nigerians will also outlive his present dictatorship”.
The governor said the SSS under Lawal Daura had 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.
“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”, he said.
“If the DSS was alive to its responsibilities, we won’t be having Boko Haram insurgents killing Nigerians, all these kidnappings and Fulani herdsmen killings, raping and destroying farmlands in the South-West, South-East and North-Central zones in the country would have been nipped in the bud”.
Mr. Fayose also noted that the same way Buhari as military head of state used the defunct National Security Organisation (NSO), headed by Ambassador Mohammed Lawal Rafindadi from Katsina State, is the same way he is using the DSS, headed by another of his kinsman, Lawal Daura to harass, oppress and intimidate Nigerians.
“It is obvious that democracy in Nigeria is becoming unsafe in the hands of Buhari and his APC and those keeping silent now because of politics may also end up in the belly of this roaring lion that is threatening to consume our democracy”, he warned.
“Therefore, Nigerians and the international community should take special notice of the use of the DSS and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to muscle opposition.
“As for me, I wish to say once again that I am not among those Nigerians that are afraid of harassment by any agency of the federal government.
“I make bold to state that in the overall interest of democracy and well-being of Nigerians, I will continue to speak my mind on issues bordering on governance in Nigeria. I will not be intimidated”.