By Adedayo Akinwale
The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has described the invitation of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, by the police over his recent interview with Nigerian Info FM radio, after he was invited twice by the Department of State Service (DSS), as a ploy to intimidate and stifle alternative voices.
The forum, in a statement issued yesterday by its National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, therefore called on the DSS and police to stop further harassment of Mailafia and other Nigerians, whose comments were only meant to serve as a wake-up call for the country’s security agencies to tackle the grave insecurity in the country.
According to him, “The attention of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has been drawn to invitations extended by the DSS to the presidential candidate of the African Democracy Congress (ADC) in the 2019 poll, Mailafia, over his recent interview with Nigerian Info FM radio.
“We are worried that after appearing before the secret police twice without failing, another invitation was issued to Mailafia on August 21, 2020, by the Nigeria Police requesting him to appear before them today in Abuja.
“In what may be seen as subtle acts of intimidating alternative voices, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, was also a guest of the DSS in Abuja last Monday, where he was grilled over his media interview where he was quoted to have called for self-determination for Nigerians.”
The forum, therefore, called on both the DSS and the police to concentrate on their core mandates of securing lives and property of citizens, condemning the 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 the country.
It also stressed that in “exposing the sinister plot of the enemies,” Mailafia has not committed any crime, adding that what the security agencies should do now is to thoroughly deploy Mailafia’s disclosures and bring to an end the devious plans of destroying the country.