Those who think the Department of State Services (DSS) in Nigeria is either overwhelmed or lost in the maze of anarchical tendencies gradually but steadily enveloping Nigeria might have another thing coming. The Department is saying that, at the appropriate time, it would unmask and decisively deal with all those involved in acts it described as condemnable. But it says its response would be in line with the laws of the land. What the appropriate time refers to in a situation where individuals who represent nobody but themselves are making certain statements strange to the consensus of peaceful co-existence is open to question. This is more so in an atmosphere of grave dimensions of insecurity testified to by the stories of exploits being told by gangland warriors arrested recently.
Asserting in a statement issued Sunday by Tony Opuiyo of the Department’s Headquarters in Abuja that it already commenced detailed investigation to get the perpetrators of hate campaigners as well as their sponsors, the DSS asks those it called well-meaning and law abiding citizens and residents to disregard persuasions by “these tribal jingoists to make our beloved country a theatre of the absurd and bloodletting”. Arguing that it is time for Nigerians to show their humanness and patriotism it held as having been the defining strength of Nigeria as one united, indivisible nation, the DSS makes reference to watching with keen interest the calamity and irretrievable destruction that those it calls desperate and mischievous elements were steering the ship of Nigeria’s nationhood.
Adding the Arewa Youths’ quit notice to Igbos in the North to the subsequent Niger Delta Watchdogs which replicated the Arewa Youth intervention, the DSS expresses horror with another group it says harvested an internet graphics of an accident that actually took place somewhere in Ondo State in March 2016 but represented by the group as slaughtering of Igbos by northerners.
In what appears reaching the limits of its tolerance, the DSS said in the statement that all those who are charting the course of disunity among Nigerians had an opportunity to desist from such course of actions, pointing out its awareness of efforts of those it calls miscreants to ignite fear and cause ethnic tensions across the country. Quit notices are not only illegal, it is strongly viewed to be against the spirit of our Constitution which allows for freedoms of move, the DSS added, assuring the entire populace of leaving no stone unturned to ensure that those who are bent on causing a breakdown of law and order are not spared. It is also calling on those who might have what it refers to as useful information to volunteer same to it for prompt action.
The DSS statement might not be unconnected with the tension generated by recent pattern of ethnic interaction in Nigeria and what seems loss of patience at different constellations in the society. Although the DSS, as an intelligence agency, must have its style of working, critics say it has left many people wondering if secrecy has not become an excuse for abdication. It is in this context that this particular statement would be kept in view by many actors who might have been wondering if the Nigerian crisis hasn’t got an intelligence dimension to it.