It is not an exaggeration to say that given the filthiness and shenanigans that Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shown, the party can’t be described as anything other than a criminal gang of renegades who care about nothing else but the country’s coffers. Ever since it was formed by a greedy group of power-hungry monsters, the party has proven itself to be a criminal network through and through with no iota of interest in governance but in state capture.
The events of the past few days have painted a clear picture of how dirty and deadly the party can get to retain its access to Nigeria’s resources which they have heartlessly plundered for the past eight years. Despite naming themselves ‘progressives’, the truth remains that there is nothing about them that is not retrogressive.
Their mindset and attitude have reflected in virtually all facets of Nigeria’s existence ever since they managed to smuggle themselves into Aso Rock using well-articulated propaganda. The economy, security, unity, infrastructure, and all sectors of the Nigerian state have literally tanked under them. Not even elections or the electoral process got better, as just weeks ago, before the watchful eyes of the world, they conducted the most shambolic election ever conducted in the country. The APC has proven itself to be nothing but cancer that is determined to end the corporate existence of Nigeria by all means.
Under the APC, every institution in Nigeria has taken a nosedive. Nothing seems to be working in the country despite having so much potential. APC has destroyed everything! Under the demonic gang of nitwits called APC, INEC moved from conducting elections that were fairly credible to simply conducting ‘selections’ based on the whims and caprices of the powers that be. Under the APC, Ministers who were supposed to be busy finding solutions to the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria were reduced to spokespersons of the party. The national orientation agency which was supposed to be busy correcting some of the ills in the Nigerian society simply went moribund. Not even the media was spared under the APC because the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), rather than focusing on the values and ethics of broadcasting set out to target the media such that free speech has now become hate speech under the party. Under the APC, ministries, and parastatals have been reduced to election funding pipelines where all manner of mindless corruption is orchestrated. The list is endless.
Perhaps the most painful of these degradations is that agencies and institutions such as the Department of State Services (DSS) which hitherto used to enjoy some sort of reverence and respect, have, under the APC fallen too terribly that the agency is now such an eyesore. Under the APC, the DSS simply moved from an intelligence unit of the country to a Propaganda unit of the APC.
In recent times, rather than seeking out and silently neutralising security threats against the Nigerian state, when the DSS is not seeking media attention or making wild empty claims about plots to install interim governments, the organisation is busy monitoring and leaking doctored telephone conversations of some political leaders (especially in opposition) in order to embarrass them and to impress the APC elements.
Last week, an alleged phone conversation between Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), and Bishop David Oyedepo, Founder/Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, was posted on social media by an online newspaper. While many Nigerians have to struggle to establish a clear source of the audio recording, one clear inference that can be drawn up from just listening to the tape is that the call was recorded while the call was still ringing which obviously showed that the service providers were involved.
What the DSS, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the APC demonic cabal failed to realise was that wiretapping an opposing Presidential candidate to obtain his PRIVATE conversation on the eve of an election without any warrant and for no reason was gravely criminal! Going on to publish a mutilated version of such a conversation to score cheap political points clearly indicates that the APC is more dangerous than many Nigerians believed. What the APC who have failed to condemn the actions of the DSS is yet to understand that is the rampant tapping of people’s phones to score cheap political points is like fixing secret CCTVs in people’s toilets and bedrooms! It is criminal, and immoral and shows a descent into a dictatorship which Nigeria may never recover from if this ugly trend is not nipped in the bud.
It is regrettably painful that the DSS which is an agency established by Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, patterned after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States of America or the MI5 Security Service in the United Kingdom have been reduced to nothing by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Just years ago, the DSS used to be charged with the protection of senior government officials, particularly the President, Vice President, state governors and visiting heads of state and governments with their respective families. However, today, it has become a laughable Yahoo Yahoo arm of the APC. It has reduced itself to a willing tool in the hands of the government in power and members of their party.
It is baffling and utterly reprehensible that the present DG of the DSS, Yusuf Buchi allowed the unit to condescend this low ostensibly for a few millions of Naira. It is so brazen that the son of the DG could not even wait for the completion of the announcement of the last Presidential election results by the crooked INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu before announcing his loyalty.
What reasonable explanation can one offer for the fact that DSS has made it a habit to tap the telephone lines and release phone recordings of opposition politicians and influential Nigerians critical of the government? It speaks of how deadly and scary the organisation has become. To be succinct, Nigeria under the present team at the DSS is simply sitting on the keg of gunpowder.
The release of the doctored conversation between Obi and Oyedepo is not only wicked, but it is also vicious and dangerous, and every Nigerian with a semblance of conscience must rise up to condemn it.
Apparently, on the eve of the just concluded Presidential election, Mr. Obi and Bishop Oyedepo purportedly had a private telephone conversation. From the tape which has since gone viral on social media, there was no terror plot and the conversation in itself was not about the use of violence. Obi was not discussing how to undermine the Nigerian state or how to arm terrorists. Obi simply pleaded with Bishop Oyedepo to help him convince his congregation in the southwest to vote for him. When did this become a crime?
What was the APC expecting after they declared a war on Christians in Nigeria with their utterly divisive Muslim-Muslim ticket with the sole intent of dividing Nigerians along religious lines?
The DSS clearly ignored the fact that private discussions are what they are: PRIVATE! Even Section 37 of the flawed 1999 Constitution expressly states: ‘The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.’ Why then did the DSS and the NCC violate the privacy of Obi and Oyedepo the way they did?
It is nauseating and in fact worrisome that an organisation which is supposed to be the most sophisticated security agency in the country has now descended into the arena of politics in order to favour the gang of desperados called the APC.
When last were the private conversations of the drug lord, Bola Tinubu or any of his minions leaked to the media? Why is it only the telephone conversations of opposition politicians that are being shared with journalists or posted on social media? This should clearly tell Nigerians the kind of people running their country.
The DSS under the watch of the effectual Buffon called Yusuf Magaji Bichi had simply strayed from its core mandate and metamorphosed into a town crier instead of a stealthy intelligence agency. The agency has simply called to become flippant, garrulous and loquacious. It spends more time making noise rather than gathering intelligence.
Almost on a daily basis, the once revered agency does nothing but churn out insipid and unintelligent press releases while their counterparts in the West are involved with major breakthroughs and heroic acts.
Over the last eight years, more Nigerians have been killed and abducted by bandits and criminals than at any other time in Nigeria’s history asides from the period of the genocidal war against Biafrans between 1967 and 1970.
According to available data from the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa programme which documents violence in Nigeria, at least 60,000 Nigerians have been murdered under Buhari’s watch in barely 8 years.
The truth is that the DSS has been unable to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians because they are always either preoccupied with hounding those who make their paymasters uncomfortable or they are busy tapping the telephone lines of members of the opposition to secure peanuts from Tinubu.
It beggars belief how abductors of innocent Nigerians use the telephone of their victims to contact their victims to pay ransoms without the DSS intercepting these calls. To date, the criminal DSS has been unable to reveal the location of the bandits and terrorists whom Sheikh Gumi openly visits in broad daylight. It simply shows why Nigeria has continued to exhibit symptoms of a failed state.
In conclusion, by releasing Obi’s call record, it is obvious that the DSS is up to something sinister. However, they must be reminded that arresting an opposition leader that has garnered international sympathy will spell doom for the fragile country. They must tread with caution going forward or eventually have themselves to blame.