DSS operatives detain The Sun editor

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As journalists threaten boycott
How to save Nigeria – Ozekhome, Omu, Osoba, others


WHILE proceedings were  going on yesterday at the on- going National Conference, men of the Department of State Service, DSS waited, picked a deputy editor with The Sun Newspaper, Mr Iheanacho Nwosu, detained and interrogated.


Mr. Nwosu who is one of the accredited journalists covering proceedings at the conference, was picked by DSS operatives at about 2pm yesterday and taken to their office within the National Judicial Institute (NJI), venue of the conference.

He was detained for over 30 minutes and eventually released after some journalists besieged the area where he was being detained, and with the intervention of the Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications, Akpandem James.

Balanced structure

This came on a day the issues of federalism, balanced structure, corruption, gender, devolution of power and regionalism dominated discourse. Some delegates also reflected on religion, ethnic nationality, indigeneship, true fiscal federalism, among others

Nwosu was said to have been picked by the DSS following a story published by Daily Sun yesterday over exchange of blows between an operative of the DSS and a policeman at the venue of the ongoing National Conference.

At the resumed session after break, delegates however condemned the action of the DSS operatives, just as one of the delegates,  Niyi Akintola, raised a point of order and warned that in a democratic dispensation, it was wrong for security operatives to infringe on the rights of a journalist who was carrying out his responsibilities. According to him, the era of abuse of human rights must not be revisited. His submission was supported by other delegates who condemned the action of DSS operatives.

Reacting, Deputy Chairman of the conference, Professor Bolaji Adeyemi warned security agencies to respect the rights of people who are carrying out their duties. Meanwhile, journalists covering the conference have threatened to boycott the coverage of the conference. They expressed fears that unless the operatives who unlawfully detained their colleague were brought to book.

Zamfara killings: Delegate accuses police, herdsmen of complicity

Senator Saidu Dansadau has alleged that the police authority in Zamfara State collaborated with Fulani herdsmen to carry out last weekend’s killings in the state.

Dansadau, who is a delegate representing Zamfara State at the National Conference, while briefing the media yesterday,displayed gory pictures of the incident, said: “It is the result of the negligent and a nonchalant disposition of the state government and the traditional institution in the area and the vicarious, sometimes direct complicity of the police.”

Senator Dansadau said the attacks on the farmers have been serial, especially around the clustered villages around the emirate.

How to save Nigeria – Odili, Ozekhome, Omu, Osoba, others

Many delegates had the opportunity of speaking yesterday. A host of them proffered suggestions on how to save the country.

Senator Femi Okunrounmu, who is representing South West geo- political zone, urged delegates to re-launch Nigeria against the backdrop that we have derailed.

He also urged his colleagues to ensure that at the end of the exercise all negative imprints of the military would be removed, adding that if Nigeria must get it right it must go back to parliamentary system of government as against the present presidential system, which gives much power to the centre.

His words: “The president, in convening this National Conference, has demonstrated uncommon courage and a deep commitment to the harmonious unity of our people.

He urges us to re-launch the country, in recognition of the fact that we have derailed. Indeed we have derailed from the trajectory of growth and rectitude and fallen into that of moral and economic decline.

“While our youths are justified in blaming their elders for this malaise, it is useful for them to also know that Nigeria has not always been this uninspiring.

Our country has not always harboured so many cheats and liars, cultists and ritual killers, rapists and kidnappers, money worshippers and religious bigots. Our leaders have always been so generally perceived as habitual, violence prone election riggers and self serving treasury looters.

All these vices of today are the cumulative legacies of the misguided policies of successive military rulers and their civilian collaborators since 1966, starting from the truncation of federalism, through the sectionally skewed creation of multiplicity of states beyond the initially justifiable and balanced 12 states of Gowon, to the introduction of the so-called presidential system of government, which now enables a one-man ruler in our states to personalise all state resources and loot the treasury as he pleases with impunity.

Civilians, politicians invited the military— Paul Omu

General Paul Omu (rtd), who is representing the South South Geo- political zone defended military incursion into governance, claiming that civilians and politicians always invited the uniform men.

According to him, civilians and politicians started it, adding, “military has been battered from left and right, I stand to be challenged that all military coups were attracted by politicians and civilians; all wars are started by politicians and civilians and civilians form 90 per cent of military administration.”

Past military leaders, except Abdulsalami must apologise to Nigerians- Peterside

In his contribution, a Federal Government delegate, Atedo Peterside, who frowned at instances were religion was brought into politics, however traced the nation’s problems to the destruction of the civil service.

He advised that as a nation we must stop as a nation from rewarding bad behaviour and former military leaders must apologise to Nigerians and take the back seat except for Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar whom he said was honourable.

Osoba  makes case for regional govt

Former Governor of Ogun State and a delegate representing the former Governors category, Aremo Olusegun  Osoba who noted that there was the need for Nigeria to return  to the regional structure of government if we must get it right.

He stressed that there is imbalance in the federal system we are operating now now. The former governor who wondered why a state like Lagos with over 20million people will have 20 local government councils and Kano state has 44, complained that the imbalance was too obvious to be ignored.

Coups executed by military and civilian contractors

Faulting  the position of some retired military generals who have alleged that civilians were behind the series of coups that toppled civilian regimes in the country, Osoba  told delegates that those coups were executed by civilian contractors with the support of the military.

Oyebode, Ozekhome speak

In his contribution, Prof. Akin Oyebode, representing Ekiti State who noted that Nigeria was at the moment operating a caricature federation and Nigeria is a feeding bottle nation, said that Nigerians must do the needful in order not to belong to the past.

Oyebode who told delegates that the military killed federalism, argued that the current constitution was a military document and that the country must draft its new constitution where everyone will be involved, adding, “Nigeria is operating a caricature federation.”

Contributing to President Jonathan’s Speech, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who is a Federal Government delegate, noted that religion has become the opium of the masses in Nigeria and an instrument of disunity among Nigerians.

He called for true federalism, devolution of power and true federalism, saying “why are suddenly discriminating against ourselves. What is going in in the north east seems not to be concerning most of us.


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