•Want more changes in security system
By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The government and people of Benue state may have been vindicated following the sack of the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, over the siege on the National Assembly.
Overtime the government and people of the state had called for the sack of Daura as well as the Inspector General of Police, IGP and the Minister of Defence for their ineptitude to effectively tackle the mindless killings in the state.
Just two weeks ago, when the police and DSS operatives locked down the Benue State House of Assembly only to allow eight lawmakers of the 30-member House access to the chamber of the Assembly where they resolved to issue an impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom, the generality of the people screamed blue murder pointing accusing fingers at the then DSS boss and the IGP.
Speaking on the sack of Lawal Daura, Convener of the Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, Comrade Joe Bukka said, “for me it’s a welcome development. We had expected that he would be eased out of office because of his many sins.
If you recall, operatives of the DSS only recently occupied the office of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF,which was ostensibly on the orders of the former DG, DSS because few minutes after his ouster, operatives of the department immediate vacated the NFF office which implied that the operation was at his behest.
“The same act was played out during the siege on the Benue State House of Assembly, which was a rape of democracy and a ridicule of the sensibilities of the people of the state but he preferred to play god irrespective of the provisions of the rule of law.
“We expect the Federal Government to take the action farther. We actually expected the government to ease out the IGP and the Minister of Defence if they want us to be convinced and also to restore our confidence in the security architecture of this country.
“We have taken this position because the comments of the Defence Minister and IGP on the Benue killings are still fresh on our minds and if the duo are not relieved of their positions, we will continue to doubt the sincerity of the Federal Government on the matter.”
“In as much as we want to remain objective in our reactions, we would want to know who ordered the police and DSS to occupy the Benue Assembly which President Buhari openly denied knowledge of.
“The fact that the Benue Assembly complex was also occupied like the National Assembly is enough justification to sack the IGP who in connivance with the state’s Police Commissioner aided eight lawmakers, in a House of 30 members, to take possession of the chamber to plot an impeachment move on the State Governor.”
“Natural Justice demands that these other people should also be eased out of office because anything short of that would be deemed an opaque Justice.
“In the same vein we expected that the head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC! Ibrahim Magu should be relieved of his position.
“A man who unilaterally allegedly decided to freeze the bank accounts of a state government, but for the general outcry that trailed that action, should be kicked out, at least as a face saving measure because the world and lovers of democracy across the globe watched with much surprise and disdain that singular action of iron cast impunity,” Bukka added.
Reacting to the sack of the DSS boss, Governor Samuel Ortom through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, described it as a step in the right direction stressing that the sack was long expected, following the manner Mr. Daura ran the Service.
“I urge the Presidency to also look into operations of other security agencies to save the country from the current wave of impunity,” He stated
On his party, the National President of the Benue Youths Forum, BYF, Terrence Kuanum said “the police did little to check the menace of herdsmen in Benue. Even when the President ordered the IGP to relocate to Benue to effectively take charge of the situation, he disobeyed that order but took pleasure in ordering the occupation of Benue state House of Assembly.
“We also expect that aside the head of the DSS, the head of the EFCC, the IGP and Minister of Defence who failed to hold their own when it mattered most during the Benue killings should be eased out of office.
Similarly, a former federal lawmaker and Convener of the Benue Women Forum Mrs. Rebecca Apedzan said, “at my age if I am shy in talking about issues affecting Nigeria and Benue in particular it will be bad of me because I am old enough to speak the truth.
“It is like we do not have security apparatus in Nigeria. I don’t want to go back to trace what has been happening between Benue state, other states and the security apparatus.
“This is a security body that is meant to protect the people, but they are not concerned about all that have been happening. I have always said that we do not have security in this country.
“The security chiefs have overstayed their welcome, some of them are due for retirement but the President asked them to stay on. I don’t know the value they are adding to the service or could it be that the other people who were supposed to take over from them were not trained or that when these people die the offices would close up?
“Constitutionally these people have overstayed and he said they should stay on but look at what the Police and the soldiers are doing. They have so many policemen to lockdown the National Assembly, they have so many policemen to lock up the Senate President’s house but the IGP said they were overwhelmed by the security situation in the country, although they are not overwhelmed in running and harassing people about.
“When they created a blockage of the Benue Assembly and allowed eight members in to carry out an unconstitutional act they had enough men. In fact the Benue’s case was worst than what they did at the National Assembly.
“In that instance, they blocked 22 members and allowed eight members into the chamber of the House to deliberate while the other 22 were locked out.
“But in the case of the National Assembly everyone was not allowed entry. Nobody said anything about the Benue case. But I am very happy that the Acting President is living up to expectations.
“I think he has realized that his reputation as a lawyer, a pastor and a Vice President was at stake and he is doing the needful now. I just hope that the President would come back and remember to continue where this man has stopped.
“The sack of the DG DSS was welcomed by all Nigerians and the IGP should also be the next. He should have gone long ago. What is he doing there but to harass people, intimidate people but meanwhile he cannot do his job. They cannot stop the killings, they cannot stop the kidnappings, they cannot check armed robbery and cultism but they have enough policemen to police state governments and the opposition.
“They are all politicians. It is so sad to think that this kind of thing is happening in a Nigeria of today in the year 2018.
“Now the EFCC is another arm, they went to freeze the accounts of Benue state government on the grounds that they were probing security votes. Where on earth have you heard they were probing security votes. They were probing a Governor because of security vote particularly a state where there was so much security challenge and the governor was running all over the place to have the matter taken care of, so sad.
“Since January we have mammoth crowd in the IDP camps who have nowhere to go to. Herdsmen are still lurking around in the corners, as I speak with you they just killed two of my uncles in the farm. If they meet anyone in the farm they would kill, but the police were not able to stop that.
“I am very happy that Daura was removed, he was long overdue for that but there are many more to follow, and I am waiting to see that happens. I hail the Acting President and believe that as a knowledgeable person he would continue to do the right thing”.