The spokesperson of the Department of State Services, DSS (alias SSS) Marilyn Ogar, has come under intense fire for insinuating that the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, is responsible for the spate of bombings in the country.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television, Ms. Ogar claimed that each time the APC had an election, a spate of bombings followed.
“It is not the first time security forces are being deployed for election duties,” Ms. Ogar said. “We had provided security for election in Edo and at the end of that election permit me to say there was no bomb blast. We moved to Ondo and the Labour Party won in Ondo, there was bomb blast. We moved to Anambra and APGA won in Anambra, there was bomb blast. We moved to Ekiti, PDP won in Ekiti, there was bomb blast. We thank God that we were able to deploy appropriately. The results have come out and the APC has won and thank God there was no bomb blast.”
“We should thank God that since after the Osun State election there has been no bomb blast. Glory be to God,” she added when Channels Television reporter asked her if she was insinuating that the APC was responsible for the bomb blasts across the country.
The DSS spokesperson did not provide any evidence to back her allegation that the APC was behind the bombings in the country.
Ms. Ogar’s controversial comments and posturing on the programme has now angered civil society activists across the country, with some describing her as an apologist of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP].
The Chairman of the anti-corruption coalition, the Civil Society Coalition Against Corruption, CSNAC, Olanrewaju Suraju, said by making such an unsubstantiated allegation against the country’s main opposition party, Ms. Ogar had cleared every doubt that she is an apologist of the ruling party.
“It is as simple as defining Ms Marilyn Ogar as a PDP apologist and unfortunately of an act very unbecoming of a security operative and very importantly she carries a character of a mere market woman –someone meant to be probably at Balogun Market where she can shout at the top of her voice to sell her wares,” he said.
Mr. Suraju said that Ms. Ogar has proved that she is completely unfit to act as spokesperson for a respected security agency like the DSS and should be immediately replaced in order to salvage any respect the DSS still has.
Mr. Suraju said that by suggesting that the APC is responsible for the spate of bombings in the country, Ms Ogar is only amplifying the views of top PDP chieftains such as Femi Fani-Kayode.
“I most confess that is more or less reiterating what Femi Fani-Kayode has alleged of APC where he alleged that APC is the political wing of Boko Haram and Boko Haram is the military wing of the APC. I think it is highly irresponsible, reprehensible and highly condemnable to have the spokesperson of the SSS come on a public media and utter such outlandish allegation without any iota of evidence to substantiate her claims.”
Mr. Suraju added that by meddling in politics the DSS has abdicated its responsibility of gathering intelligence to protect Nigerians from the extremist Boko Haram sect and has proved to be a waste of resources as the insurgent group has become stronger in the face of DSS’ ineptitude.
The Executive Director of Operation Nigeria, Ezenwa Nwagwu, spoke along the same line.
He said Ms. Ogar appeared too “excited” by her position, with her utterances and accusations at variance with what the posturing of a security agent worth her salt should be.
“I listened to her and I heard her say she doesn’t want to be dragged into politics,” mr. Nwagwu said. “But every statement that she made was completely partisan. You don’t come out and make such terrible suggestions. What are you trying to achieve?”
Mr. Nwagwu said Ms Ogah is so partisan that she might be competing with Olisa Metuh, the PDP National Publicity Secretary who is in the habit of blaming the APC for the bombings in the country.
After the April 14 bombing in Nyanya, Abuja, Mr. Metuh pointedly accused the APC for the explosion.
“We stand by our earlier statements that these attacks on our people are politically-motivated by unpatriotic persons, especially those in the APC, who have been making utterances and comments, promoting violence and blood-letting as a means of achieving political control, he said in a statement.
“Nigerians are also aware of utterances by certain APC governors which have been aimed at undermining our security forces and emboldening insurgents against the people,” he added
Mr. Nwagwu said if Ms. Ogah is not immediately reined in, it would get to a point where her utterances would lead to a complete loss of respect for the DSS.
The President of the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress, Shehu Sani, agrees.
“Her statement is not from a credible intelligence source. It is more of a political statement,” Mr. Sani said on Friday.
“It is more of finding scapegoats and shooting blames. It is very clear that most of the desperations taking place in the country and particularly in the north is the handiwork of the insurgent group Boko Haram and it would be very irresponsible for anyone to link the APC to the insurgents. I think the idea is to discredit the party and tarnish the reputation of its leaders in the international community but there is iota of truth in what she’s said.
“As a person who has been involved in negotiations and trying to find peace I don’t think the insurgents I have never at anytime seen or heard the insurgents showing any form of interest in the APC . It is a very wild accusation,” he said.