Pro-democracy group raises alarm over DSS Special squad's invasion ofLagos, Ogun Kwara
The Coalition for Electoral Integrity, has raised an alarm that the federal government in the last 24 hours has flooded Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Kwara States with hundreds of a special squad operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, ahead of Saturday's Presidential election.
In a statement issued in Lagos, Wednesday, and jointly signed by Mustapha Adangba and Olufemi Akindele, its Coordinator and Secretary, the group wondered why the federal government would send the same special squad, which was once accused to have been used, to manipulate the governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti States. The Civil Society group said the assignment of DSS squad includes working with chieftains of the APC in those states to arrest opposition politicians and harass innocent citizens of the states.
The group further said that information at its disposal showed that these DSS men are being dispatched to the states ahead of the Presidential election, with a clear intent of manipulating the outcome of the presidential election, which all indications have shown, may be won by the main opposition candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.
"We wish to urgently call the attention of Nigerians, the International community particularly all foreign election monitors and observers, to this latest action of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, which is solely aimed at harassing and intimidating leaders of the opposition and critics of the APC led administration, in these states, in a repeat of what transpired in Ekiti and Osun, during the last governorship elections.
”Flooding these statea with irresponsible DSS officials to terrorise opposition politicians and innocent citizens, is another low for a government that has become known for abuse of power and impunity, using our federal institutions. It is no longer news that our agencies are now working for the Buhari Administration, rather than for all of Nigeria. What is new is the manner in which the DSS, is now being unleashed on the citizenry, in the desperate bid of President Buhari, to return to power.
This latest clandestine operations being coordinated by the APC cabal using the DSS, confirms our believe that President Buhari is not disposed to any free and fair election, as we can not imagine, how a credible election can be held under an atmosphere of this state-led gangsterism of the APC.
We urge Nigerians to resist these ongoing attempt by the Buhari administration, to deny them the right to freely choose their leaders in the forthcoming elections. We urge the International monitors and observers to prevail on the Buhari led administration ensure a violence-free election, rather than being the purveys violence.
"Where else in the world is the Secret Service used in elections, and arbitrarily engaged to harass political opponents and intimidate harmless citizens during elections." the group queried
The coalition called on local and international election observers and monitors to take note of the pre-election intimidation tactics of the Buhari Administration which, it said, are designed solely to scare people away from the polling booths and provide the necessary atmosphere for electoral malfeasance to favour the APC.