Soni Daniel, Abuja
Save Nigeria Movement, a non-governmental organisation has warned Middlebelt Youth Forum to stop criticising the work of the Department of State Services and press for good governance in their domain.
At a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Convener of SNM, Reverend Solomon Semaka, particularly asked Middlebelt youths to prevail on their governors to pay their workers’ salaries and provide infrastructure and programmes to promote the wellbeing of the citizens rather than dabble into security issues.
The SNM was reacting to a statement credited to the Middlebelt Youths Forum on Tuesday calling for the sack of the Director-General of Department of State Services, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi for daring to raise the alarm that some elements were plotting to incite ethnoreligious crisis in the North.
While pleading with the Middlebelt youths to leave the DGSS out of their frustration, SNM, asked the youth forum to allow the DSS to do their job without undue interference in the interest of the nation and its citizens.
The SNM Convener said: “Calling for the sack of the Director of the DSS is shameful. Instead of demanding his sack, it is better to address the issues raised by the revelations in the DSS report. Criminal elements intent on causing civil disturbance must desist if not the full weight of the law will descend on them. Please leave the DGSS alone. Allow him to continue his good work.
“This is a clarion call to all youths especially in the middle belt to prevail on their state governors to pay salaries with approved federal government scales to reduce the hardship people are facing in their states.
“Youths should hold their leaders accountable and resist being used as thugs and hatchet men. This is the highest duty of youths to their states and country. Making themselves available to be used by governors and political leaders must stop henceforth,” SNM warned.
The movement stated that there was never a time the agency or its DG mentioned governors in its statement which drew attention to the fact that some elements were planning to stoke violence in parts of the country, particularly the North Central zone.
“We are utterly surprised that the MiddleBelt group would ascribe a report done by an independent national newspaper to the DSS.
SNM continued: “To put the records straight and address the misinformation and outright lies contained in that press statement, it is the duty of DSS to gather intelligence and inform Nigerians about possible threats. It is also the duty of the DSS to take proactive steps to forestall and quell internal uprisings.
” If the DSS has uncovered a plot by some persons it did not mention to incite violence and make the country ungovernable, then they should be praised for doing their duty professionally. The DSS works round the clock to safeguard lives and property in the country. This kind of statement coming from youths who should know better is disgusting and shameful.
“It is easy to chronicle isolated security incidences to push home a false narrative that the federal government is not doing well or to divert people’s attention from the situation on the ground in some states. It is, however, uncharitable to refuse to acknowledge the numerous successes the DSS and other security agencies are doing to combat insecurity.
“Such behaviour is tantamount to wishing the state to fail. The good news is that Nigeria has not failed and its institutions are solid and delivering to the chagrin of corrupt and politically reckless leaders.
“The federal government cannot use the DSS to witch-hunt any governor as was alleged in that pointless press statement. There will be no justification to go after any state governor simply because they do not agree with Mr President.
“Governors are covered by constitutional immunity that protects them from prosecution. It does not add up to say that the federal government is setting them up. Why choose them amongst all others?
“May Nigeria succeed and may criminal elements fail ten times,” Save Nigeria Movement concluded