My ordeal in SSS detention — Nigerian author, Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe [Photo: The Paradigm]
Okey Ndibe [Photo: The Paradigm]

Popular Nigerian author and columnist has lashed out at the State Security Service after being briefly detained at the international airport in Lagos.

In a message on his Facebook wall late Saturday, Okey Ndibe said he was taking in for questioning by the secret police.

He was believed to be coming in from the United States where he has lived since 1998.

The author and lecturer said the action of the SSS was due to his name being on a security watchlist.

He said his name was first added to the list in 2010 by the Umaru Yar’Adua administration, and that he was detained in a similar manner that year.

He said he turned down today’s suggestions from SSS operatives that he should visit Abuja to have his name removed from the list.

The SSS could not be reached for comment as the department has failed to appoint a spokesperson for over a year.

Mr. Ndibe is known for his incisive commentaries on Nigerian public affairs, most of them addressing government ineptitude, corruption and human rights abuses.

Read Mr. Ndibe’s full statement on the encounter below:

“I had another irritating encounter with the SSS at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos. I told the officers who took me to their office for questioning that it’s shameful they salute and escort corrupt officials but harass a citizen who insists we can, and should, have a sane system based on true democratic values, the equality of all citizens before the law, and political accountability.

“For the record, the SSS officials were courteous throughout. Once again, they advised me to go to Abuja and apply to have my name expunged from their watchlist. No, I said. I did not go to Abuja in 2010 to ask the Umaru Yar’Adua administration to put me on a list of enemies of the state. I will not go to Abuja to plead that my name be removed from the list.

“I thank all of you who’ve written or called to inquire my wellbeing. I’m in wonderful spirits, far from cowed. Fear is a choice, I’ve chosen not to fear.”


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  • Henoz

    Bubu and tyranny, kaiii! He promised change but gave Nigerians chain. This presidunce is truly a terrible mistake.

    • Alex

      This deranged old tablets APC has drag us back into gestapo years which many Nations are looks back in shame.

  • Netanyahu

    This administration has become an embarrassment to itself. Can’t we read about something positive and encouraging about this useless regime. 2019 seems too far away. Nonsense.

    • tundemash

      Why wait till 2019? Talk to your Rep and Senator.

  • Dan maikoko

    What a pathetic proposition. The SSS is supposed to assess a person secretly, place him or her on a watch-list secretly, monitor his activities secretly and let the police know of his whereabouts, in case an arrest is needed, secretly. This SSS however is telling the suspect that he has been on a watch list since 2010 and to add insult on injury they want him to travel to Abuja (because they lack the modern comm. needed to do it from Lagos) to do their job for them. In fact its a job they should have done secretly. Is this another 17th century security outfit? Apologies Prof. Pius Adesanmi.

    • sta

      That’s APC for you. They even backdated the list to 2010, so they can drag dead yar’adua into it. Now I believe the hottest part of hell has been reserved for APC members.

      • Mayo

        No, they didn’t backdate it. Okey has written about his arrest by the SSS before under Yardua

      • Amir

        The same part of hell where you wailers and PDP is burning at the moment.

        • iwe paul

          Was it right for the SSS to have detained him?

      • tundemash

        You are damn d@ft ! Okey claimed his name has been on that list since 2010 and APC govt took over in 2015 so what happened between 2010 and 2015? Do you not think his name would still be on that list even after 2019 if and when your destiny looters manage to be back in govt ? Dunce, the problem here is the outdated process within SSS where everything has to be cleared from their Abuja HQ; my oga@the-top syndrome!
        But you have got a worse issue to deal with: you are far too d@ft !

      • and Okey Ndibe himself is APC mouthpiece, or you did not bother to read the article you just jumped into conclusion based on your sentiment. Read the article again maybe by then your blood pressure would have subsided and you will see where Okey himself said Yar’adua govt placed him under security watchlist

  • obiora

    Prof Okey, Hide and seek will never help us. What You people are getting in this Nigeria or why it is hard for You all the Biafran Elites and others like You to understand Nigeria, is what I could not Understand. Nigeria killed three Million Biafrans some of them Higher than You and are happy for doing so and You are here tell us that Your name is in security watchlist. Your name will one day enter even DeadList in Nigeria. open Your eyes Man.

  • abodes_124

    Okey was lucky this time. They could have detained him and stripped him to his pants until he fulfilled his bail condition like Reuben Abati . Then of course there is the Dele Giwa treatment which this lot in power once meted out.

  • Julius

    Abeg, leave the man alone SSS. Abi una no get anything else to do ?