by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Youth Wing of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has urged Federal Government’s serial critic and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Archdiocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, to ignore invitation by the Nigerian Department of State Services (DSS).
The union, in a statement made available to journalists in Kaduna on Sunday urged Bishop Kukah, who hails from Southern Kaduna area of Kaduna State, to shun the invitation by DSS for obvious reasons of threat to life and his personal safety.
The statement, signed by national youth leader of the union, Comrade John Isaac, stated that, “We are urging the DSS to focus on the ravaging impact of insecurity, kidnapping and banditry across the country rather than distracting the Bishop, who is only pointing the obvious about the decaying state of the country’s security architecture.
The youth wing stated that it has continued to “observe with dismay the operations of the Nigerian DSS in recent times and the circumstances surrounding the mysterious deaths of persons who had, at one time or the other accepted its invitations, particularly persons considered to be critical of the nepotistic and clandestine leadership style of the Buhari administration.
“Lately, we mourned the sudden demise of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia (of blessed memory), who until his death was a dogged critic of this administration and a regular visitor at one of the DSS facilities.
“Without ruling out any possibility of harm, we consider the invitation of Bishop Kukah by the DSS as one of such ploys designed to silence him at all costs.
“While we urge the Bishop to ignore such invitation by the DSS – for the obvious reasons of threat to life and personal safety – we are urging the DSS to focus on the ravaging impact of insecurity, kidnapping and banditry across the country rather than distracting the Bishop, who is only pointing the obvious about the decaying state of the country’s security architecture.
“It is rather unfortunate to note that with the recent declaration of bandits as terrorists by President Buhari, we had anticipated an invitation from the DSS to the likes of Sheikh Gumi, who has always fronted and still fronts for terrorist and bandit groups, but reverse is, however, the case,” it stated.
The body added that, “In the light of the above, it suffices to state boldly that the DSS has unarguably deviated from its core mandate of protecting national security and has become a willing tool for the suppression of free speech.
“We, therefore, call for an independent investigation into the activities of the Nigerian Department of State Services with a view to restructuring the institution and it’ mode of operations in line with global best practices.”
Titled, ‘The DSS and the continued clampdown on dissenting voices,’ SOKAPU called for total overhauling of the service.