The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned a political party in Kano state against planned solidarity protest over the arrest of Sharu Abubakar Tabula and Isma’il Iliyasu Mangu.
Spokesperson of the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, issued the warning in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said Tabula and Mangu were arrested for deliberate incitement of violence.
Afunanya said they separately recorded messages and shared them through various social media channels.
“In those potentially harmful messages, they specifically championed certain political interests and called on their supporters to violently attack those opposed to them.
“The suspects also called for attacks on security personnel during the Saturday Governorship and House of Assembly election in the state.
“As a result of this development, a particular political party in Kano has threatened to organise a protest march in the metropolis as well as storm offices of some of the security agencies on 16th March, 2023 in solidarity for the suspects.
“While the Service alerts the public of this planned illegal action, it calls on the concerned party to shelve it forthwith or be ready to face the consequences.
”The DSS will not idly watch misguided persons or groups undermine the peace and security of the state.
“The leadership of the said party should rein in its members and urge them to desist from conducts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in Kano and its environs before, during, and after the scheduled election”, the statement said.
Afunanya added that the DSS was collaborating with sister security agencies to ensure that adequate security was provided for a successful electoral exercise.
According to him, aside from Kano, the Service has recently arrested similar subversive elements that threatened violence in other states of the federation.
The DSS spokesman said the service had on March 8, enjoined politicians to engage constructively and shun violence, fake news, and hate speech.
He said the DSS had called on political players to abide by the letters of the electoral act and guidelines and contribute to the sustenance of peace and democracy in Nigeria.
Although, the name of the political party was not disclosed, but DIPLOMATIC DIARY reports that Tabula and Mangu are members of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Kano State.
Meanwhile, the NNPP in Kano State, has accused the DSS of working in collaboration with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to undermine the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
A chieftain of the party and senatorial candidate, Dr. Bappa Bichi, made the allegation while addressing a news conference on Wednesday night.
Bichi, who spoke on behalf of the party stakeholders, alleged that the state Director of DSS in Kano, Mohammed Alhassan, was behind the alleged plot.
According to him, Alhassan was due to have retired from the service about 15 months ago but was illegally retained to execute the orchestrated plan for Governor Ganduje, who is his longtime friend.
“We have written to Mr. President. We have written to the DG of DSS. We have written to all heads of security agencies and service chiefs, drawing their attention to this anomaly. No officer is indispensable. The director has outlived his service year by over a year. His continuous stay in service is both illegal and immoral. He is being kept to undermine democracy”, he said.
Bichi further alleged that it was based on the request of Ganduje that Alhassan was posted to Kano as the DSS Director of Kano State in 2017.
“His relationship with Ganduje started way back in the early 90s when Ganduje was the sole administrator of Gwagwalada Area Council in the FCT and Alhassan was then in charge of SSS at the same local government.
“Ganduje officially requested that Mr. Alhassan be posted to Kano and even when all state directors have been redeployed to other states, Mr. Alhassan has been kept in Kano for over half a decade without redeployment.
“We are even more concerned that over a year ago, Mr Alhassan was due to retire from the service and proceed on retirement but Ganduje wrote officially, again, to the Director General of DSS, pleading that. Alhassan be retained in the service and be kept in Kano until after the 2023 general elections.
“We asked the question ‘why?’ Are there no qualified people who can be appointed as DSS Director in Kano state?”
Bichi further alleged that “a tactical team of the DSS, who is already in Kano for a dirty job, are being kept in hotels and safe houses within the state.”
According to him, “The 2023 governorship elections is contested between the NNPP and the DSS which have made it a national project deploying everything at its disposal to steal people’s mandate”
He maintained that the “DSS in Kano under the leadership of Alhassan have compromised their oath of service, and we have equally drawn the attention of other sister agencies to their plot.”
Bichi appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and prevail on the DG of DSS to allow Alhassan to proceed with his retirement stressing that he ought to have retired 15 months ago.
He said the party had resolved to stage a peaceful rally on Thursday to protest the continued stay of Alhassan as the Director of DSS in Kano State.
“The protest will continue until when Alhassan is removed from Kano as Director DSS”, Bichi said.