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DSS: Entrenched Interests Pushing for Interim Govt to Undermine Civil Rule

DSS: Entrenched Interests Pushing for Interim Govt to Undermine Civil Rule

•It’s fishing expedition, LP scoffs at agency

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Department of State Security (DSS), yesterday, raised the alarm about some entrenched interests it claimed were pushing to foist an interim government on the nation and by implication, undermine civil rule.

This is coming a few weeks after the presidential, national, governorship and state houses of assembly elections that led  to the emergence of elected representatives while litigations instituted by candidates, who were not satisfied with the outcomes, were still ongoing in the courts.

DSS, however, warned those involved in the alleged plot to desist from doing so or face the full wrath of the law, because it would take decisive steps, in collaboration with other security forces, against  those plotting to undermine democratic rule.

The agency, which said it identified some key players in the plot to set up an interim government in the country and set aside the constitution, a situation it described as an aberration, also called on the judiciary, the media and the civil society to be wary of such plotters.

But the leadership of the Labour Party, last night, said it had nothing to do with the alarm by the DSS, and as such, dismissed it as mere fishing expedition to which it wished the agency best of luck.

A statement by the spokesman of the agency, Dr Peter Afunanya, said it “considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.

“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.

“The planners, in their many meetings, have weighed various options, which include, among others, to sponsor endless violent mass protests in major cities to warrant a declaration of state of emergency. Another is to obtain frivolous court injunctions to forestall the inauguration of new executive administrations and legislative houses at the federal and state levels.”

The DS said it fully supported President Muhammadu Buhari in his avowed commitment to a hitch-free handover on May 29, 2023 and would work assiduously in that direction.

“It also supports the Presidential Transition Council and such other related bodies in the states. We will collaborate with them and other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure seamless inauguration come May, 29, 2023,” it said.

While warning those involved in the plot to desist from doing so, the DSS stated: “Consequently, the service strongly warns those organising to thwart democracy in the country to retract from their devious schemes and orchestrations.

“Stakeholders, notably judicial authorities, media and the civil society are enjoined to be watchful and cautious to avoid being used as instruments to subvert peace and stability of the nation.

“While its monitoring continues, the DSS will not hesitate to take decisive and necessary legal steps against these misguided elements to frustrate their obnoxious intentions,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party, in a terse statement last night by its spokesperson, Bashorun Akin Oshuntokun, said, “Best of luck to him on their fishing expedition. First, let me make it clear that we have nothing to do with any proposal for interim government. Otherwise, we would not be seeking the intervention of the Nigerian Judiciary to right the wrong perpetrated by the INEC.

“But the last elections would long be remembered for the unprecedented extent to which the security agencies colluded passively and actively with INEC to subvert the will of the Nigerian electorate. What was it, for instance, that the DSS do when MR MC Oluomo was openly threatening violence against any voter not voting in the run up to the governorship election in Lagos?

“There is freedom of speech and assembly in the Nigerian constitution to which each and every one of us is entitled so long as it doesn’t violate the rule of law. If I remember correctly, the advocacy of interim government predated these elections by years. The precedent, I distinctly recall, was that of the legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola.

“Quite devoid of the solemnity and sobriety that usually characterises the culture of secret security services communications all over the world, this one wins the prize for verbose and bombastic language calculated to intimidate and perhaps, lay a redherring for a premeditated security sting

“It is equally striking the extent to which the statement mimicks a prior press statement by the spokesman of the Tinubu campaign organisation,” he stated.

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