The Presidency has reacted to the invitation of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Umar Ghali Na’Abba, by the Department of State Services (DSS) over his alleged comments against President Muhammadu Buhari.
KanyiDaily had reported that the former speaker was invited by the DSS after he accused President Buhari of turning Nigeria into a failed state, describing the president as an irresponsive and incompetent leader in the history of the country.
In a statement on Sunday, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu urged Nigerians to ignore the claim linking the president with the ex-speaker’s invitation by the DSS.
“Our findings have revealed that Na’Abba’s invitation has nothing to do with his alleged utterances which, in any case, did not catch the attention of the presidency, or of any serious politician for that matter.
“There are serious politicians who talk and the presidency responds because such politicians make statements that must get attention. Flash-in-the-pan politicians and those who fabricate political relevance don’t bother anyone.
“We advise Na’Abba to distance the presidency from the situation he has found himself and sort himself out accordingly,” Garba said.
Garba Shehu’s reaction is coming after the Coalition of Northern Groups berated President Buhari over the invitation of former Speaker by the DSS.
In a statement on Sunday, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, spokesperson for the CNG, said the continuous attempt to suppress the existence of the right of freedom of expression of Nigerians by the Buhari-led government was exposing its failure in statesmanship and political craftsmanship.
“The CNG finds it worrying that the current administration is becoming more and more intolerant of opposition and criticism and gradually dragging the country towards becoming a police state. We find this attempt to harass Na Abbah, a senior citizen and critical stakeholder in the nation’s democratic process, a brutal encroachment on the universal citizens right to freedom of expression which is a fundamental characteristic of any democratic state.
“By its continuous attempt to suppress the existence of the right to freedom of expression which includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by the public authority, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is exposing its failure in sportsmanship, statesmanship and political craftsmanship.
“It is ridiculous that those who run this government who happened to have benefited the most from the previous administration’s tolerant disposition should be the ones denying others the same right they enjoyed. The CNG repudiates this unhealthy, undemocratic trend of government’s exercise of power through security agencies to impose restrictions on citizens’ mobility, or on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views and hold it unacceptable.
“We insist that every Nigerian’s right to freedom of expression which is not only a primary cornerstone of democracy, but also prerequisite for the enjoyment of many of the other rights and freedoms ensured in our constitution and international conventions must be respected. We therefore find it absolutely unacceptable for a people who in no way bore the brunt of the struggle for the return to democracy to be hellbent now on scuttling it.”
This is coming just three days after DSS released a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia, who was also invited over a comments he made about Bandits and Boko Haram.