*I didn’t do it – Wike
*Prove you didn’t – Nigerians
*I won’t condone aide breaking the law – Saraki
By Kemi Kasumu
The DSS, through a statement issued by one of its officials, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, said the aim of the protest was to cause mayhem, “a complete breakdown of law and order and cast the security agencies and the federal government in a bad light. It is also intended 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 rerun elections 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 brutalisation of INEC staff who failed to do the bidding of the governor.”
The Department of State Services (DSS) said Wednesday that it had uncovered a sinister plot by the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, to disrupt governance in strategic Federal Government agencies by provoking a violent breach of peace in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Wednesday and beyond, especially during the yuletide season.
To achieve this, the DSS alleged that the Rivers governor secured the services of one Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, a personal aide to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to mobilise some hoodlums to execute the plan.
But in a swift reaction, the River State Government described the allegation by the DSS as “irresponsible scaremongering” by an agency that seems bent on a mission to blackmail Wike and bring the state government to disrepute.
Some Nigerians have reacted to the latest development saying Governor Nyesom Wike should prove to the world that he didn’t do what the DSS accused him of plotting against the nation.
One of them who is a regular respondent to The DEFENDER, speaking under strict condition of anonymity, recognising Governor Wike’s right to defend himself however said that it was not enough for him to merely dismiss the “very weighty allegation of treason that he plotted to stage violent protests against the country in its capital city as just irresponsible scaremongering” but that the governor should be investigated as, according to him, Nigeria at this time could not afford to treat any threat to the peace of the land with levity by mere dismissal by any politician.
He said, “If you watch closely the activities of Wike before, during and after the recent rerun legislative elections in Rivers State, one would have no option than to bother about the latest allegation by DSS against the same governor. Now he wants all of us to believe that no other one does wrong except anything Federal Government particularly its security agencies. He has not been able to tell how the Federal Government or APC could have been responsible for the killing of security agents that they themselves are in charge of in ensuring peaceful conduct of the rerun elections in Rivers.
“It is however ridiculous that after Wike himself led protests against government institutions of the police and INEC in his own state where he claims to be chief security officer, even as he still continues to dodge providing answers to the questions of whose voice is on the audio recording ostensibly orchestrating the killings and violence that greeted the rerun elections and why, after he publicly said he and his government would not cooperate with investigative panel set up by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to investigate and recommend for prosecution whoever was behind the violence leading to the killings of DSP Muhammed Alkali and his orderly during the rerun, the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has suddenly come up with his own plans to set up an investigative panel to probe the same electoral violence he has condemned the probe of. There must be a reason for his ambiguity.
“This is the third question that Wike must be taken serious over. This allegation by DSS is weighty and some of us find it difficult to believe that the DSS is what his and his sympathisers call them. Yes, during the time their government of PDP was there, may be, but now, for anybody to want to perpetrate violence, killings and hide under the guise that he will always be the first to cry woe of persecution by Federal Might, it won’t work. We are all eye open. The other time you said the DSS was persecuting judges and you ran out in the midnight to obstruct arrest of one in Port Harcourt claiming you did so because you were the chief security officer of the state. But when the judges, despite all their letters of sentiments, started confessing after they were faced with evidences they could no longer hide, you the governor kept silence.
“One would think that as chief security officer, Governor Nyesom Wike should be more concerned about the killing of a DSP, his orderly, others by some cultists during the election. But no, the very day DSP Alkali was being buried in Niger State, Wike in a televised and widely broadcast event led a protest against the Nigerian Police Force in Port Harcourt which many have interpreted to be that he was celebrating the killing of those officers. It was made worse when his friend governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose went on in the news to say that democracy in Nigeria had collapsed under Buhari and APC meaning that the PDP leaders were less concerned about the violence that greeted the rerun especially in areas where they considered to be their own stronghold.
“It would be recalled that Governor Wike had always claimed that he was in possession of video evidences he would use to nail Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, APC and INEC over what he described as their plots to connive and rig the rerun elections. He also accused the state commissioner of police of being part of the plots. But when the commissioner of police and many other people told him that he had all the powers and opportunity to play the video for the world to see how Amaechi, APC, INEC and the police connived to rig the elections, Wike up till today never spoke on that again.
“No amount of sentiment must be allowed to sweep this allegation by the DSS under carpet. All the allegations from Rivers to Abuja must be thoroughly investigated. Respect is only meant for people who deserve respect. I don’t believe the laws accord any honour to anybody, no matter is status, who is not concerned about the peace of the land. So, President Muhammadu Buhari must not be deterred by any cry of dictatorship against his government and so he should just go ahead, give orders to necessary agencies to deal with these atrocities no matter any attempt that anybody is making to politicise it. If he doesn’t do it now, these same people he wants to play gentility with will use it against him in the future. It must not be allowed to happen,” said the respondent.
On the part of the aide of the Senate President, Senator Saraki, in a statement said though the DSS had not officially informed him of the allegations against Ikenga, his aide, he made it clear that he would never condone any action by any of his aides, which threatened the peace of the country or is against the provisions of the law.
The statement said: “Dr. Saraki hereby calls on the DSS to properly investigate the allegations against Mr. Ikenga and if he is found to have acted against the law, then the law should take its natural course.”
The DSS, through a statement issued by one of its officials, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, said the aim of the protest was to cause mayhem, “a complete breakdown of law and order and cast the security agencies and the federal government in a bad light.
“It is also intended 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 rerun elections 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 brutalisation of INEC staff who failed to do the bidding of the governor.
“In furtherance of this plot, protesters are to besiege the National Human Rights Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission, 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 a false alarm that Rivers State was under the siege of security agencies during the elections.
“While the obvious aim is to draw public sympathy and international attention to the spurious allegations of the 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 youths 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,” DSS alleged.
It expressed concern that Saraki’s aide would engage in this nefarious plot when, “after his last arrest earlier this year by the DSS, he had pledged to be law abiding and not to cause a breach of the peace”.
It revealed that though Ikenga was at large, the trio of Emeka Idibia, Ugo Apuamagha and Ejike Nwachukwu had been arrested and were 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 included 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 organiser and coordinator of the planned protest, with Governor Wike as his sole financial sponsor,” the DSS said.
The security agency added that it was disturbed that the Rivers governor who is the chief security officer of his state would stoop so low to hire thugs and hoodlums to attack the FCT and create an atmosphere of chaos and disorder during the yuletide season.
It stated that the DSS and other security agencies will neither be cowed, nor by any means allow any person or group of persons, no matter how highly placed, to subvert Nigeria’s statutory institutions meant to protect critical installations and law-abiding citizens.
“In this regard, the DSS also states in unequivocal terms that no amount of intimidation, grandstanding or outright manipulation of facts will be allowed to stop it and other agencies from conducting their duties as constitutionally mandated or concluding investigations into the Rivers State electoral violence.
“Finally, the Service wishes to restate its commitment to the protection of lives and property in the FCT in particular and Nigeria in general. Consequently, it advises youths to resist the temptation of being lured by desperate politicians to undermine the government or engage in acts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order,” it stated
The DSS called on all Abuja residents to go about their normal duties, adding that it was committed to ensuring that the full wrath of the law is brought against persons or group of persons who may threaten the peace and stability of the country.