Seven months of pains, tears and sorrows, as the Federal Government and DSS are still mute on the whereabouts of seven Department of State Security (DSS) officers that went missing 7 months ago at the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
The families have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to open a thorough investigation and unfold the mystery behind their disappearance. But it is sad, that up till now nothing has been done or said by the Federal government or DSS on their whereabouts.
Let Nigerians ask why the DSS should keep silent on the sudden disappearance of their gallant officers who were on national assignment and refuse to even ask how their families have been faring! The Government or the DSS have not for one day, asked after their wives and kids or how they are coping. What a great country that one will put his or her life down for?.
Also petitioned in the letter titled: “A plea for thorough investigation into the case of seven missing DSS operatives with Lagos Command,” were the Senate, the Inspector General of the Police (IGP) ,Solomon Arase and the Attorney -General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.
Seven DSS officers went on a mission to rescue the kidnapped wife of Deputy MD Sun Newspaper on the 15th of September 2015. Since then till now, no word or any form of contact from the 7 of them till today, while the woman was released two days later by the kidnappers.
A copy of the petition below:
The President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Honourable Members of Senate
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Inspector General of Police
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Attorney General of the Federation
Federal Republic of Nigeria
A plea for thorough investigation into the case of 7 missing DSS operatives with Lagos Command.
First, I want to state that my confidence lies with the president of the federal Republic of Nigeria who I supported all the way from the United States because of my confidence that he has the capacity to restore the lost hopes of the Nigerian masses. On this note, sir, this letter becomes particularly urgent due to the inability of my family to establish any veracity on the information of 7 missing DSS operatives of which my brother is among them, since September 15, 2015.
Sir, I need not dramatize my unimaginable mental burden, nor that of my family members, that after 4 months, the DSS Office cannot inform us on the whereabouts of my own brother who, along with his 6 colleagues, were sent to work from their Lagos command on September 15, 2015.
Incessant visits by my family members back in Nigeria to the office of the DSS in Lagos since September 15 has consistently left everyone with a most traumatic and painful experience as the Lagos Director, Mr Ajanaku, kept telling them that he believes that my brother and his colleagues are alive and hidden somewhere in the creeks. This information, quite unprofessional as it has been, is becoming tellingly unsavoury, objectionable and most devastating to the entire family members, especially with the passing days.
The DSS cannot permanently keep silent on a serious matter of national concern as this. In the United States when such incidents happen, it takes Sheriff few hours to go on air and inform the citizens. It is the right of CITIZENS to get informed.
Sir, this letter is pertinent and expedient for a number of reasons:
My missing brother’s wife confirmed that her husband told her that they were going for the rescue of a kidnapped woman in Ikorodu contrary to ubiquitous newspaper and online reports that they were going to hunt down pipeline vandals or going for the funeral of their fallen colleague. This matter needs to be investigated.My family members back home in Nigeria went to the DSS office in Lagos many times where my brother’s director assured them that they went to work and were kidnapped and that the DSS is negotiating for their release. At other times the director said that the military and the Navy have taken over the matter. The question is: How could the military and Navy take over the investigation of a kidnap case of highly placed senior officers of DSS when they (the DSS) are adept at cracking high profile kidnap cases. We, and the entire Nigerians, smelt the rat somewhere. It is already 4 months since they disappeared. Sir, I ask: for how long will this negotiation last? We demand an urgent official pronouncement on this matter. It is long overdue.My conclusion is that the 7 DSS operators left for Ikorodu from the DSS office in Lagos, with official vehicles under OFFICIAL INSTRUCTION and up till today never cameback.It will amount to total blackmail and a most unforgiving case of transgression should the DSS permanently silence them by keeping silent on their matter ad infinitum.Let Nigerians demand why the DSS should kept silent on the sudden disappearance of their gallant officers who were on national assignment and refuse to even ask their families how they have been faring!It became expediently imperative to write this letter to the president, Distinguished Senators and, indeed, Nigerians,given our suspicion that an attempt is being made to sweep many facts under the carpet. I, and the rest of my family members, need to fight back. While we strongly believe that EVERY HIDDEN SCHEMING on this matter must be exposed in the end, we are particularly worried about the fate of our brother’s life.From many newspaper and online reports Arepo in Ikorodu area where this incident took place is shamefully and deplorably constructed on a fragileedifice of danger,sham, disorder, oppression and recklessness. These are crimes perpetrated by corrupt politicians and other criminals who collaborate with pipeline vandals to loot this great nation. I am confident that President Muhammadu Buhari is vehemently committed to restoring the lost hopes of common men and women like us.This case is being threatened by a conspiracy of silence. Why would this matter made to suffer from suspected intrigues of dismissal and obvious insouciance? It must be stated that the silenced even in death fights back!DSS office in Lagos who claimed that ‘they went to work’ has not cared to ask the wives of the missing officers how they fared.The directors of DSS all over Nigeria need to ask questions about the whereabouts of their gallant officers!Common sense tells us that this is a simplest gesture, and demonstration, of espiritde corps among the rank and file. Does it mean that the DSSethicsnegates this salient attribute of camaraderie among officers?I strongly reject this aggressive and inhuman tendency from the DSS. These missing guys are human beings with wives and children yet they are being treated like common animals. This is a show of aggressive impunity and corrosive erosion of professionalismand must be rejected by well-meaning Nigerians.
1. That the president and members of Senate should compel the DSS to inform Nigerians on the present state of the 7 missing DSS operators, whether they are still alive or not?
2. That the president and members of Senate should institute an investigation into the missing DSS operators: their mission to Arepo or Ishawo as manyRUMOURS now, further, threaten their precarious disappearance. RUMOURS must be debunked for the sake of public good. A public pronouncement by the DSS on this matter is long overdue.
3. That the president and members of Senate should direct the DSS to make official pronouncement on the current status of the missing DSS operatives.
4. That the president and members of Senate should compel the DSS to urgently make the salaries and entitlements of the 7 missing DSS operatives available to their jobless wives and hungry children and urgently take full financial responsibility of the families as the director of their Lagos command claimed that they went on official duty and are not yet back. Reason and responsibility demand that the DSS should cater to the temporary financial needs of the families until they are back.
5.That the president and members of Senate should direct the DSS to collaborate with other security operatives to end the mayhem perpetrated by oil thieves, terrorists, corrupt politicians and locals in Arepo and Ikorodu who have killed many innocent citizens.
Sir, having scrutinized the above requests, I am convinced that they are covered within the precincts of my fundamental human rights under the Freedom of Information Bill as provided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Uchechi Mercy Obiorah, Dallas, Texas