Chairman Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) Yabagi Sani has asked the Department of State Service (DSS) to name and apprehend those planning to cause the installation of an interim government in the country.
The DSS had in a statement earlier Wednesday by its spokesman, Peter Afunaya, said it discovered a plot by “misguided” political actors to set aside the constitution and install an interim government in the country.
However, in a swift reaction, Sani said it is not enough for the DSS to announce a plot for interim government, charging them to go further and name the plotters as well as take action against them.
Speaking Wednesday while featuring on Channels Television, Sani said: “To say the least, it is an embarrassment because I believe that the DSS, the agency that is in charge of gathering intelligence and then passing intelligence to other agencies, are supposed to take action. And I don’t think it serves the purpose of this country for the DSS to come and make this pronouncement in the manner they are making it.
“What would have made sense to us is that so person is involved, so person has been arrested or is under interrogation or whatever action has been taken. Okay, what do we do as politicians or citizens of this country? We can’t do nothing.”
The Action Democratic Party (ADP) candidate in the February 25 presidential election, said law enforcement agencies should not fail to demonstrate that nobody is above the law to serve as deterrent to others with some surreptitious plans to scuttle the nation’s democracy.
Making references to advanced democracies, he said: “Look at what happened in the United States when (Donald) Trump wanted to interrupt the inauguration of (Joe) Biden, something happened, they took action. So, I believe as much as we commend the effort of the DSS, I think they should go beyond that because as citizens what can we do?”
Interim government should be strongly resisted — Agbakoba
Commenting on the DSS allegation, leading rights activist and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, described the call for an interim government as unconstitutional.
In a statement Thursday, Agbakoba urged a rejection of ‘this nonsense’ and cautioned aggrieved candidates to allow the judiciary decide on the petitions before it.
“It is shocking to learn from the Department of State Security that secret plans are underway to undermine Nigeria’s democratic process and transition, by arrangements of what is described as an interim government. This will be a major set-back and we must all resist.
“I suggest that the gravest possible consequences must be applied to all who are associated with this treasonable intent. The general elections have held, albeit under the most challenging circumstance. But a president- elect has emerged and we must respect and accept this as fact.
“At least for now, all leading Presidential candidates have approached the courts with grounds of complaint concerning what they consider as electoral irregularities. If the presidential candidates have accepted the democratic process by lodging petitions before the courts, then it is very difficult to understand upon what basis anyone considers that an interim government is a viable and legal alternative. We must all reject this nonsense and respect our Constitution, which has no provision for interim arrangements.
“As the President – elect is sworn into office on May 29, the Judicial process will ultimately render a decision. As Nigerians, we must turn to the Courts to render a decision on the petitions before them. The Judicial process will certainly carry a huge responsibility in the process of democratic consolidation. The notion of the contraption referred to as interim government, has no place in our lives and our constitution. WE MUST ALL SAY NO!” Agbakoba said.
Fani-Kayode urges Atiku, Obi’s arrest
Also speaking, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, said the DSS should arrest some opposition figures over alleged call for an interim government.
Fani-Kayode, though did not mention the names of the those he tagged rebels, made the appeal to the DSS in a statement, Thursday, titled, “Arrest the Rebels and Treasonable Subversives!” issued via his verified Twitter handle.
The APC chieftain described the calls for an interim government by members of the opposition as outrageous, subversive, and dangerous, adding that, “but they are also acts of treason, rebellion, and insurrection.
“We have warned about these sinister plots and plans for months and well before the presidential elections, but no one took us seriously and it was to no avail. Now the signs are obvious and ominous and it is clear that there is something evil afoot.
“It is heartwarming and encouraging that the DSS, as alive to their duties as ever, finally issued a statement yesterday (Wednesday) in which they vindicated us.
“This is vital in order for us to protect and save our democracy from those that seek to truncate it and establish an unconstitutional form of Government in its stead.
“It is incumbent upon us all as democrats to speak out in support of the DSS and to help them thwart the evil plans of the unscrupulous conspirators, dangerous plotters, unpatriotic elements and fascistic forces that want to topple our Government and abort the democratic process.
“Those of us that are politicians and that still believe in democracy must stop being lazy, cowardly, undiscerning, insensitive and complacent in the face of this challenge.
“We must appreciate the fact that there is a major play going in on the background and it is not yet uhuru. We must stop pretending that we do not know what is going on and we must desist from sitting on the fence and hedging our bets.
“We must rise to the occasion that this challenge and very real danger and threat presents and we must defend and preserve democracy by resisting the forces of chaos, anarchy and tyranny.
“As a senior citizen, a former public office holder, a public figure and a major stakeholder in the Asiwaju project, I can no longer sit by idly and stomach this. It would be irresponsible and cowardly to do so,” he said.
The former aviation minister further said: “For 16 years, from 1983 till 1999, many of us fought against military rule and paid a high price in that fight. Others that came before us fought it between 1966 and 1979. They also paid a high price.
“During the course of all those years many suffered, many were tortured, many were exiled, many lost everything, many were destroyed, many were jailed and many were martyred.
“These young ones that are protesting have no idea about the inherent horrors of military rule and what it really means because they were not born when the soldiers held sway in our country and they do not know the indignities and bondage that we were subjected to as a people during the course of those years,” he said.
Count us out – Labour Party
Meanwhile, spokesman of Labour Party (LP), Yunusa Tanko, said the party is not part of any insurrection plan.
Tanko said the party was not plotting any insurrection, describing the development as a conspiracy against the state.
The LP spokesman, who also said this Thursday on Channels Television’s Lunch Time Politics, declared: “We are not part of any insurrection plans whatsoever,” he said on Channels Television’s Lunch Time Politics on Thursday.
“But what I am saying is that we would protect the interest of Nigerian people based on the provisions of the law which provides that where you are hurting, you have the right to protest and that you would do so with the defence and protection of the Nigerian security apparatus. That is what we would do but we would not support any insurrection in any way.”