The attention of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has been drawn to invitations extended by the Department of State Service (DSS) to the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and presidential candidate of the African Democracy Congress (ADC) in the 2019 polls, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, over his recent interview with Nigerian Info 93.3FM.
Going by the startling revelations disclosed by the Oxford Economist that attracted outrage from within and outside the country, Dr. Mailafia would, after his initial appearance at the Jos office of the DSS, insist that he stood by the media interview. Few days later, he was re-invited by the secret police in Jos, and later banned from speaking to the media on the matter.
Considering these invitations by the DSS to this patriotic Nigerian who is a distinguished son of the Middle Belt, we are worried that after appearing before the secret police twice without a fail, another invitation was issued to Dr Mailafia on Friday August 21, 2020 by the Nigeria Police requesting him to appear before them tomorrow, Monday August 24, 2020 in Abuja.
In what may be seen as subtle acts of intimidating alternative voices, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, was also a guest of the secret police in Abuja last Monday where he was grilled over his media interview in which he was quoted to have called for self-determination for Nigerians.
Looking at the travails of both Rt. Hon Na’Abba and Dr. Mailafia in the hands of security agencies over their comments on national issues, there seems to be a deliberate ploy to stifling alternative voices. As a Forum representing all ethnic nationalities in the North, for which the Oxford Economist is a member, we call on the police to stop further harassment of both the former Speaker and ADC presidential candidate whose comments were only meant to serve as wake-up calls for the nation’s security agencies to tackle the raging insurgency and grave insecurity shredding our country.
The MBF is in constant touch with Dr Mailafia since his ordeal in the hands of the DSS, and are completely kept abreast of the matter. As a Forum, we are worried that there are attempts by some unscrupulous people to either change the narratives or ridicule the source of Dr. Mailafia’s disclosure as unreliable.
The Forum wishes to declare that Dr. Mailafia’s disclosure is in tandem with realities on the ground. We challenge the nation’s security forces to stop rural killings and ensure the safe return of our sacked communities now in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps back to their ancestral lands.
Just last Wednesday in Zuru, Kebbi State, the Inspector General of the Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, disclosed that security agencies have discovered that banditry rocking our nation has assumed an international dimension, with Nigerien, Sudanese, Malian and Libyan bandits, among others, unleashing terror on Nigerians. Is that disclosure by the IG not in tandem with Mailafia’s disclosure?
We call on both the DSS and the Police to stop further harassment of Dr. Mailafia and concentrate on their core mandates of securing lives and property of citizens. We condemn a situation where the police are simply engaged in persecuting those who are raising their voices to call the attention of Nigerians and securities agencies to the real enemies of our nation.
In exposing the sinister plot of our enemies, Dr Mailafia has not committed any crime. What the security agencies should do now is to thoroughly deploy Mailafia’s disclosures and bring to an end the devious plans of destroying our country. We call on all patriotic Nigerians to rise up and mount pressure on security agencies to stop further assault on Dr. Mailafia who has truly demonstrated his patriotism to his Fatherland as contained in his disclosures.