24th November, 2014
The invasion on Saturday of the data collection centre of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos by armed security officers, only days after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and other Federal lawmakers were teargased in the premises of the National Assembly in Abuja is, to say the least, shocking, incomprehensible, unexplainable and condemnable.
The illegal and barbaric acts constitute a clear indication that democracy in Africa’s most populous nation may be in grave danger.
In the latest assault on democracy, men of the Department of State Security Services, DSSS, and armed military personnel stormed the membership data centre of the APC at 10, Bola Ajibola Street, off Allen Avenue in Ikeja, Lagos, vandalised equipment and destroyed vital documents.
Witnesses said the security officials, numbering 50, barricaded the two major entrances to the APC data centre, pulled down the gates and spent over two hours ransacking and vandalising the office. More than a dozen computers were destroyed and the server was also vandalised along with other equipment in the building.
Twenty-five data agents working in the centre during the invasion were arrested alongside three security guards. They were released hours later while three of the workers are still in security custody.
Couldn’t the security operatives have checked the items they seized at the centre to determine whether they constituted any security threat rather than destroy them outright?
The latest incident happened only days after Speaker Tambuwal and other APC Federal lawmakers were teargased in Abuja as they tried to enter the premises of the National Assembly. It also occurred after the Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, described opposition members as cocroaches that should be killed.
Needless to mention the rascality in Ekiti State, where seven PDP lawmakers out 26 lawmakers purportedly impeached the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin. The lawlessness in Rivers State orchestrated by the police cannot also be ignored.
These repeated illegal incidents point to one single fact: Our democracy is in grave danger and President Goodluck Jonathan is not bothered about it.
The daylight rascality and official brigandage by the security operatives acting as if they are out to serve only the interest of the fedeal government gives the impression that they are the armed wing of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
The Jonathan administration is slipping into dictatorship and if not checked may make the Abacha era dictatorship look like a child’s play. This is unacceptable and must stop. We cannot as a country sacrifice all the gains we have made over the years for selfish political ambition.