BY AKAMANU JENNIFER
The Department of State Services has faulted recent protests against its leadership, saying they were sponsored to discredit the Federal Government and security agencies.
A senior official of the service said the protests, which he alleged were sponsored by the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, were aimed at painting the government and security agencies in a bad light. He said contrary to the claim by the protesters, there was no lawyer in the DSS detention, adding that anybody that had a different view should prove it.
The DSS official added, “The entire campaign of calumny and calls for the resignation of the DG, DSS, are not supported with facts.
“They represent a familiar pattern from Ikenga (Ugo Chinyere), who is being sponsored by his benefactor in Rivers State to orchestrate violent demonstration to paint security agencies and the government in a bad light.”
Faulting a protest by a group, Lawyers in Defence of Democracy on Monday, the official said those who were arrested were not lawyers
He stated, “They were arrested by the service for their role in the botched moves by Governor Wike to orchestrate violent demonstration with inciting and subversive posters.”
Reacting to the DSS allegations, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tam-George, said the service appeared to have been gripped by a persecution complex.
He added that Wike had nothing to do with the “so-called plans to organise protests in Abuja or anywhere in Nigeria.”
Tam-George “The APC government promised change, but on their watch, every single state institution has developed a draconian temper. The DSS seems to be particularly gripped by a persecution complex. Otherwise, why are they so obsessed with antagonising Governor Wike?
“We have made it clear that Wike has nothing whatsoever to do with any so-called plans to organise protests in Abuja, or anywhere in Nigeria. Why is the DSS launching illegal and random arrest of innocent people over a phantom protest, just to implicate Governor Wike?
“Is Governor Wike also responsible for the ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna? Was he the mastermind behind the sickening carnage in Agatu, in Benue State? Did Wike drop the deadly bombs on the IDP camp in Borno State?
“How many arrests and prosecutions have the DSS launched in those tragic incidents? We call on all Nigerians and the international community to speak up and reject this malignant dictatorship that the APC has imposed upon our nation.”
But the DSS official insisted that the agency did not detain any lawyer.
“The protesters’ main grouse was that some lawyers, who are members of their group, are being detained by the DSS. I wish to state categorically that no lawyer is in our custody. I repeat, no lawyer is being detained in the DSS custody,” he stated.
According to him, the service has never denied any arrest it has ever made, adding that the protests had hidden motives.
The Lawyers in Defence of Democracy, led by its coordinator, Agu Okwukwe, had, on Monday, marched through the streets of Abuja, protesting against alleged growing excesses of the DG, DSS, Alhaji Lawal Daura, and the gradual destruction of Nigerian democracy.
The group had called for the sacking of the DSS DG and the release of its four detained members (including Ikenga).
It also called for the disbandment of the Police panel probing the violence during the Rivers State rerun on December 10.