The Regional Secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES), Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam has warned Tuesday’s siege to the National Assembly, especially the role of security agencies, should serve both as a “warning and a red alert” as Nigeria marches towards the 2019 general elections. He spoke against the backdrop of the invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, as well as the gale of defections from one party to the other among other issues in the polity.
Para-Mallam, in an exclusive interview in Jos, said, “What happened at the National Assembly on Tuesday August 7, 2018, especially the role of the security agencies should serve both as a warning and a red alert for all lovers of democracy in a multicultural, multi-religious and pluralistic Nigeria as we march toward the 2019 general elections. “On one hand it was a significant deficit on Nigeria’s democracy, on the other hand the swift reaction is a positive development through the Acting President in consultation with the President. August 2018 is not the same thing as August 1963.
“The emergence of technology and globalization has turn the world not only into a global village but literally into a hamlet, thanks or no thanks to social media.” The cleric went on to raise the following posers over the incident at the National Assembly, “What were the security operatives thinking about when they invaded and took over the National Assembly (NASS)? “Where they thinking that Nigeria is one small village tucked away in one small corner of the world beyond the preying eyes of humanity?
“What exactly was on their minds? Is Nigeria some Banana republic? Is Nigeria under some despotic rule, where the President can have the freedom to use security operatives to achieve his whims and caprices at will? Has Nigeria become a failed state where the rule of law no longer subsists?” He continued, “Nigerian leaders should always resist the temptation to turn security agencies such as the DSS, Police, Army, NIA to name a few into attack dogs on her citizens. “Similarly, agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crime Commissions (EFCC) should resist any form of manipulation in which they are used for political witch-hunting by the government of the day.”
“Ironically, security agencies who normally should be concerned with maintaining law and order, have become agents being manipulated to create disorder,” Para-Mallam lamented.