Yesterday, the videos and pictures of Men of Department of State Service (DSS) shooting into the air and teargasing unarmed citizens who had simply gone to protest the non-release of Yele Sowore who had been granted bail and had met the bail terms but was still being held by DSS sent shock wave once again to a Nation already shell shocked from the numerous shocks it has been forced to endure. When did it become a crime to have a peaceful protest in Nigeria? When did the DSS become above the law that they no longer obey court orders? Why is DSS bent on keeping Sowore?
First they said no one was there to receive him and that was the reason they refused to set him free yet when citizens volunteered to receive him and where there, he was not handed over to them. Let me even ask, is it law that one must have someone receiving them before they can be released? So one without anybody will rot in custody for not having anyone to receive them? Citizens now decide on the lawful recourse available for them which is to go on a peaceful protest to make demands and they are tear gassed and shot rendered in the air? Is it a crime to be law abiding in Nigeria today?
Where are the tear gas and bullets of DSS when it comes to criminals that have been terrorising the Nation? The lives of Nigerians mean nothing to criminals and mean nothing to the government. Nigerians are killed for speaking out and killed for not speaking out. They are mere toys whose existence is at the mercy of the triggers of criminals and also security agents. What an existence!
The impunity with which security agents have attacked unarmed citizens has increased over the last few years at an alarming rate with the tacit approval of the President and Commander-in-chief Muhammadu Buhari. It looks like the President enjoys the high handedness with which citizens are treated by the security agents that are supposed to protect them. He has with his silence and body language increasingly shown that the lives of citizens do not matter to him and also that he wants any dissenting voice shut down and probably taken out.
Is this a way to cow Nigerians and force them back into the dark days of dictatorship? President Muhammadu Buhari never fought for democracy. He first truncated democracy and then frolicked with his fellow military dictator. He is today enjoying what he did not know how it was gotten, the sacrifice that went into getting it and is ready to destroy the fragile democracy that Nigeria has had for twenty years.
The present leadership of DSS was installed by the President after removing the DSS leader appointed following the sack of the then Director-General of DSS, by the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo when DSS locked down the National Assembly in an unconstitutional move that had the Nation outraged at such flagrant show of power. The then Acting President appointed the most senior Director to act as DG who was later removed by the President and replaced with the kind of person that will continue with the high handedness of the removed DG. Today we see the result!
This more than anything proves wrong those who always want to say that the President is unaware of the many criminal and unconstitutional things that happen in his administration. The President is not only aware they seem to be carrying out his orders and anyone not following his orders is punished. Little wonder the Vice President has not been made Acting President since the sack of the DSS DG!
The same President destroying every fabric of our democracy and becoming tyrannical by the day is out there in a country that respects the rights of people to make demands. It took leaders reigning in their undemocratic tendencies and allowing the democratic systems to work even when it didn’t favour them to have a sanctuary that he can run to when he needs sanctuary that he has selfishly refused to have enthroned in his own country. When the Prime Minister of United Kingdom tried to shut down the Parliament, the courts refused and the Prime Minister had to obey the courts even though he didn’t like the judgment and yet that is where our President is holed up while disobeying court orders as he has done since the inception of his tenure as President.
Until Nigeria becomes a Nation where security agencies are truly independent and their allegiance is to Nigeria and Nigerians we will continue to witness brutality for rulers of small minds who are nothing without the power they want to hold onto.