The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the house arrest of immediate-past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) by men of the Department of State Security (DSS) as a blatant violation of human rights, as well as illegal and unconstitutional, political persecution.
According to PDP, the DSS operatives did not allow anybody to gain access to Dasuki’s House in Asokoro, Abuja where he was detained, emphatic that the scenario was political persecution.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary, blasted the action of the DSS saying it was against the tenets of democracy and that Nigerians were becoming scared.
Metuh who monitored events around the premises at12:55pm, recounted that he was refused entry by security operatives on account that the house was under security watch, just as he said he had the mandate of the party to visit the former NSA.
But that attempts by a couple to gain entry into the residence of Dasuki were politely rebuffed by the security operatives at the gate. The couple came in a fawn colored Kia Saloon car at 12:33 and left at 12:35pm.
The former NSA was in his residence at the time of these visits as there were no barricades around the premises and traffic flowed without restrictions. There was also no restriction of movements by pedestrians around the house save for attempts to enter the residence itself.
Metuh lamented that those who served under former president Jonathan were being humiliated, explaining that they were not PDP and those that served the former administration must not be seen to be guilty because the PDP lost the March 28 Presidential election.
Metuh said: “I came into Abuja today because I read the situation about the invasion of the house of the former NSA and his detention and house arrest. So, I drove to his house as a personal friend to see him and to find out what is happening. Then about seven or eight security operatives came out and they said that I cannot see him because the house is under security watch. And I asked them, security watch in terms of treason or terrorism? And they said they are not in a position to say.
“And why I asked this question is that if it is under security watch on account of corruption or any other reason, then it’s totally against the Constitution of this country because this is a democracy and democratic tenets and principles apply. The fact is that we deserve basic freedoms, liberty and movements associated with democracy.
“The truth is that Nigerians are getting scared. They voted for the President and he was duly elected. And now, he’s the father of the nation, he’s the father of everyone. He’s not serving any other interest. But there are certain activities by some of his aides and people around him; it’s like they are taking us back to the military era where we were coming from. The last time this happened was under the military. There has never been any situation where people will be held against their will. It is completely against his fundamental human rights. And we should be careful here because this was how it started in Zimbabwe and other countries. Before you know it, we have a dictatorship. You cannot scare us.
“We are not guilty because we served under a former President. We are not guilty because we lost an election. We are not losers in a war. We lost an election, not a war. We are not prisoners of war and we should not be treated like prisoners of war.
“What we demand is that we deserve respect; there is rule of law. We will not condone corrupt activities or any other unlawful or illegal act. If anybody has committed anything against the laws of Nigeria, let him be invited, let there be investigation. If there is a warrant of arrest, a judge can rule that he should be detained. But the fact that they shroud things in mystery and invade someone’s house, occupy his house and detain him against his will, it’s anathema in democracy.”
Metuh urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the security agencies to order and allow due process of law to apply on any issue: “Please, Mr President, father of our nation, we ask for basic respect for human rights. Let our inalienable rights be observed and respected in a democracy. Freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What is happening here now is totally against the tenets of democracy.”