SSS lambasts Ezekwesili over airport arrest

Oby Ezekwesili
Oby Ezekwesili

Ms. Ogar accuses Ezekwesili of feeling too big to subject herself to security checks

The Department of State Security, DSS, has attacked the former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, for complaining over her arrest by security operatives at the Abuja airport early Monday.

Mrs. Ezekwesili, who leads the BringBackOurGirls campaign for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, was held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on her way to the United Kingdom for a scheduled engagement.

Operatives of the State Security Services seized her travelling documents without a formal explanation, and delayed her for about 30 minutes.

Mrs. Ezekwesili was later released after the arrest drew widespread condemnations on social media.

Responding to the arrest late Monday, the SSS accused the former minister of arrogance and display of “unnecessary self-importance” in the face mounting security challenges in the country.

“I don’t know why some people will sometimes arrogate to themselves unnecessary importance when we have serious security challenges in our hands,” a spokesperson for the department, Marilyn Ogar, said. “Government has asked the SSS to be at the airports. Statutorily, SSS clears all passengers travelling out or coming into the country.”

Mrs. Ezekwesili is one of the leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group, which is pressurizing the Nigerian government to act more decisively and rescue the over 250 schoolgirls abducted by the extremist Boko Haram sect from their dormitory at Chibok, Borno state over three months ago.

Oby Ezekwesili
Former Minister, Oby Ezekwesili

The former minister has in the past one year become one of the most vociferous critics of the Jonathan administration.

Apart from leading the sit-in in Abuja for the #BringBackOurGirls movement, Mrs Ezekwesili has accused the administration of doing little or nothing to check widespread corruption and impunity, and has demanded transparency in the management of the country’s oil revenues.

Barely a week ago, the Federal Government accused the BringBackOurGirls group of allowing itself to be manipulated by opposition politicians to perpetuate the activities of the Boko Haram Sect.

In criticizing the activities of the group, Ms. Ogar, had accused its leaders of turning the protest into a franchise for collecting monies from unsuspecting members of the public.

“#BringBackOurGirls movement has become a franchise,” Ms. Oga said. “If it is an ordinary movement seeking to pile pressure on government or security agencies to release these girls, there will be no need for the group to begin to have tags, insisting that you must have a tag and be properly registered to be part of them. Security forces also know that they have bank accounts.”

She further accused the group of paying courtesy calls to money bags to solicit support.

The SSS spokesperson’s comment attracted a sharp reaction by Mrs. Ezekwesili who accused the Federal Government of mobilizing the police and thugs to assault members of the group.

“They (government) hired ghost writers supported by some editors to publish fictions about us and had the State Security Service (SSS) spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, spew bile at us,” Mrs. Ezekwesili said.

“In all orchestrated effort to silence us through physical and reputational assault, they helped make our point -that our #ChibokGirls needs a voice. Ogar should hide her face in shame if she has any conscience as a woman. How can our own SSS allow itself to be so poorly served by Ogar with those pedestrian lies about #BringBackOurGirls?” she added.


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  • Ide4u

    Too much dog meat is manifesting in the way SSS is conducting their job. Ekpeyong, eat more chicken!!!

  • Jezzy

    I am really surprised that Oby Ezekwesili could descend so low to do some of the things she is doing. Good enough every reasonable person feel concerned about the abducted Chibok girls and many are quietly praying for their release but the way Oby is going about it makes her action suspect. Her full time involvement with those “Bring Back Our Girls” campaigners, most of who are making commercial gains of the sad incident raises a lot of questions. And there is no doubt that the issue has been hijacked for propaganda and politicking thereby making a very serious issue trivial. Somebody of Oby’s caliber should have been working closely with security agents to monitor the rescue efforts if she is genuinely concerned than making media show of the campaign which depicts her as seeking cheap popularity. Oby and her group should seek for more constructive way to engage all the stakeholders in the abduction issue, including putting pressure on Boko Haram by appealing to their conscience to let the innocent girls go. it amounts to useless sensationalism pressurizing the Government for the release of the girls as if they are the ones keeping them. A desperate concerned “Bring Back Our Girls” campaigner should have also carried the campaign to Borno rather sitting at a safe zone in far away Abuja, creating unnecessary tension. A mass movement march in Chibok and its environment will be a warning signal to Boko Haram that the masses are ready to engage them head on. I am surprised that all those who shout themselves hoarse over the Chibok girls are playing safe by mounting their campaigns from a safe distance. That people are making money with the unfortunate incident is not in doubt because I have seen an outrageous bill presented by a so called CSO for organizing a “Bring Back Our Girls” rally in Minna, Niger State. Oby should beware before she rubbishes her reputation.

    • Jezzy

      I hope The Premium Times is disposed to allow all and sundry the right to be heard. Blocking people’s posting for posting dissenting views is unethical.

      • tsunami1earthquake

        It is becoming a disease amongst these Nigerian news media; not only Premium Times! These news media must come to understand that readers’ reactions, even if controversial, attract much visit to their news media sites. And the more the exposure, the more they would make from the various ads on their sites. I don’t know who advises these news media to be acting like the ‘Eliza Police’ or the colonial-time ‘kotma’ by blocking readers’ reactions. This kind of action only happens in a repressive, communist and dictatorial regime as is found in North Korea, for example.

      • redeem

        Its very sad-Punch and the Nation were the first media houses to black-list me—–because I do not sing the praise of the political almajiris in APC–then Sharia Reporters was ordered by the janjaweeds in APC to also blacklist me-the shame of it is that–these are media houses that claim to represent the views and ithoughts of the citizenry—-often preach freedom of speech—raise their janjaweed voices on corruption–but are corruption personified——-now acting like dictators–yet them call the president a dictator-wonder what name they will give to buhari-Sanit Imam buhari————–theif-less soul of APC–yet went about chasing the wife of a man he sent to prison–soon PT will also block deri–ati redeem–in the name odf serving the interest of the political almajiris in APC– ati boko haram-cheers

    • aladeadekunleoluwaadeshinaola

      She has a right to do what she feels is right to her as long as it does not impede on yours, as afar as i may concern, I support the initiative because if not for them, Malala would not have met the president of our country, mandating him to meet the Chibok parents what fellow Nigerians’ have been asking for in 95 days but just one week after meeting Malala, the meeting is holding.

      • Candido

        Too much politics. Everyone wants to be heard! Imagine American secret service getting involved in partisan politics!

        • aladeadekunleoluwaadeshinaola

          I agree with you

      • redeem

        The issue here is not about Malala forcing the president to meet the parents of the kidnapped girls-what is he going to tell them –that the girls would soon be with them–abi-And to assure them that that he also knows wehere they are-hiding in Lagos–abi-The president should sack dasuki–he is one of the most dangerous traitors in the presidency–he is the NSA–and as far as I an concerned he is a disgrace-to the military that used my oil revenue to train him ati the sultan of sokoto who is also is a retired army general –why have they not been able to tell government where these girls are-where boko haram is operating from–aware the fighters in boko haram are their tribes men-all fulanis from the west african sub-region-
        -the story by the SSS and the army that they know where the girls are– may be lies-designed to force the president to part with 1b for their leaking pocket–the Yankees said they will train the army–and the same army is saying they needed over 1b to buy arms—where did the armoured cars the janjaweeds in boko haram are using come from-Russia abi—now they have crashed a chopper–to enable them push for the moeny–which every nigerian knows would go down the drain again—

    • Yakub

      A very cowardly Jezzy, people who die many times before their death. If majority of Nigerians are like Jezzy this country will have since been turned into a banana republic. So you want the matter of Chibok Girls’ abduction to be swept under the carpet because some people are quietly concerned, praying? Who knows even if these people are even praying aright!!!Well you if you chose that path, so be it, but do not castigate Nigerians that also choose the path of civic engagement to peacefully and in a civilized manner keep this national embarrassment and failure of government on the front burner. Keep your prayers and allow people to exercise their rights. Why should we put pressure on Boko Haram? Did we elect them? Who is charge, the Government or the criminals? It is intriguing that DSS and Marilyn Orgar are more concerned about blackmailing Oby than doing their work of rescue. What a shame. Now you want Oby to work closely with security agencies. Is she a security agent? Let the security agencies do their work and stop maligning innocent citizens. The energy Marilyn Ogar is deploying in maligning the #BringBackOurGirls movement could have been deployed for something more productive. Yes, #BringBackOurGirls is not only a national movement but a global movement. Colonial mentality Jonathan could meet with Malala a supporter of #BringBackOurGirls but could not meet with his own citizens to chart the way forward. Petty, shameful.

    • tsunami1earthquake

      No, I disagree! Oby Ezekwesili has not done anything wrong as far as this campaign is concerned. Did the Presidency, including Dame Jonathan, not deny that girls were abducted? Even as of now, the Nigerian President has not found it auspicious to visit the parents of these girls! What message does that attitude send? Because of international and domestic pressures, the Presidency has begun to pay just lip service to this issue and has been handling it with brazen phlegmatism unexpected of the Executive Branch of government that has sworn to protect all citizens. Therefore this left a vacuum which the Oby Ezekwesili group had to fill. So the ‘BringBackOurGirls’ pressure is an altruistic and noble act by those handling it. The character-killing accusation that the group is soliciting funds for its work is just as malicious as it is wicked. No organization can function without some funds to see it going. Naturally the government would not fund it; so the obvious choice is to solicit funds from well-meaning and selfless Nigerians who have been touched by this unfortunate incident which continues to be multiplied by the Boko Haram insurgents! Hey, let’s call a spade a spade and come back to reality. The Oby Ezekwesili group is doing a fine job. Such a group must be supported and encouraged. At least the SSS or any other government organ has not accused the group of embezzling those funds! That Ezekwesili had to travel to the UK was not a trip sponsored by the Federal Government; money is needed for all those.

      • redeem

        The President and his wife-have all the rights in the world to hold an opinion based on the facts made available to them by the security agents-operating with Fulani dasuki-The president cannot on his own assume the girls were kindnapped without the NSA- dasuki briefing him on what actually transpired–in Borno state–Is the President T B Joshau to know if they were actually kidnapped-by d janjaweeds opertating in boko haram–on behalf of APC-in d fulani North?–
        -Since the daughter of the school principle was not touched-and was right there–in the school when the alleged incident took place-why must they not have their doubts? Again-why was she not kidnapped-by Boko haram?-Oby only rushed to send the socalled parents of the chibok girls who were assembled in abuja–awaiting the Malala-girl from Pakistan-to enable the governor and his APC agents de-brief them on what to say when they finally meet with the president-Again why did they not tell us that they have been collecting money from members of the public–And been forcing Nigerians to register to partake in the activities of her body for APC-Look here-what most Nigerians yearn for is for us to to find ways of bringing to an end the killing machine of boko haram and not have the likes of Obj back the janjaweeds destroying Nigeria–via their fake protest-Happily her husband is a pastor–sadly a pastor of the redeem church has just been killed by BH–let her spare a thought for him ati his families also-cheers

    • True Nigerian

      You are a squalid lazy-thinking retrogressive citizen with poor sense of citizen awareness and selflessness in nation building. If Jonathan, Madueke or Iweala were half as nationalistic, dedicated and selfless as Oby has been, this country will not be in such a horrible mess.

      You see, when I read the views of people like you, I feel sorry for Olisa Agbakoba, Gani Fawehinmi, Soyinka, Ubani, Aturu, Enahoro, Kuti, etc. I get the sense that these people fought and died to birth a stable society for a useless and selfish bunch of cowards like you.

      Nigerians like you are those who would have asked for Aung San Suu kyi to be shot for “disturbing” the peace and making a noise. You don’t have a sense of the common good, you don’t have a sense of self-sacrifice. Do you think Oby has more to gain by what she is doing than what Nigerians would gain from it? Do you think she needs to do this in order to get a job? This was somebody that resigned from the Vice-Presidency of the World Bank.

      When good and patriotic Nigerians read the comments of people like you, they lose the motivation to spend their lives in trying to engage the problems of the country – horrific leadership. With people like you, good people would reluctantly but helplessly join the gang of looters since the generality of Nigerians are supportive of or indifferent to their nemesis – horrendous leadership in the country.

      • phemi

        Thanks True Nigerian,Thanks!People like Jezzy make one wonder if those who fought for the present democracy did not do so in vain!

        • newvoice404

          God bless you in million folds.You are truly a new Nigerian.

      • redeem

        How many Ibos has she been able to raise her voice to defend- in the Fulani North since 2002? Was she in Siberia when the very APC government that she is politically slaving for -packaged her tribes men-and women-operating in Lagos state as beggars and dumped them at the foot of the Onistsha bridge head-did she strain her self to provide shelter for them-in the south East-? The beggars who were deported from Lagos- are her tribes men and women-Yet refused to come to their aid–what about the hundreds of Ibos killed daily in the north by boko haram-? Did -we never hear her call on them fulani janjaweeds in boko haram to halt the killings of her people-in d North? Why must she crying more than the bereaved–Let her show us evuidence of her visit to the school in Chibok as the Minister of education-God is watching over her–sad to have her use the life of the girls to score cheap political points for APC- That sdhould be viewed as a sin-against humanity-we have all had our movements to board planes delayed-on several occcsions–in her case– it was for only 30 minutes-and we have the janjaweeds in APC trying to act as if they own Nigeria-Rather than have her confine her janjaweeed thoughts on the evil actitivites of boko haram–she is always looking for a way to confront the president-with her satanic APC sponsored acts-educated patioric women do not behave the way she often does-was Ojukwu her mentor not detained by Buhari? Is hse not in the same party with him today-‘

        • True Nigerian

          In your obvious double standards, you think that it is okay for Oby to focus on the Igbos that were deported by Fashola from Lagos, but you simply can’t stand the thought of her decision to stand up against an offensive betrayal of Nigeria’s abducted Chibok children.

          The death knell for your stupid argument is the fact that Peter Obi and Theodore Orji had already deported Igbos before Fashola did. Didn’t you hear that? Or do you think everyone shares the obsession that has possessed you about anyone that is critical of Jonathan’s horrendous leadership?

          I am actually Igbo, but I have outgrown the lopsided judgement syndrome. I detest it with passion. I hate the idea that a few people will set a house on fire and then run out to raise an alarm and lead the whole town in search of the arsonist.

          Just to be clear, I am neither APC nor PDP. I just want a working democracy and a fair normal society. And to me that is what Oby represents – the freedom and selflessness that makes great nations what they are. And that is why people like you may die when Nigeria starts working. Nobody will kill you. You will just die because you can’t stand the sight and reality of a Nigeria that is not a pariah state embarrassed daily by the sheer shamelessness of a dull corrupt and uninspiring leadership.

      • Jay-pee

        Mr. True Nigerian, dont take nigerians for idiots……..if your madam Oby is truly what you say she is then she should have resigned her post with OBJ…….Where was Madam Oby when little innocent girls were being given out as brides.

    • Adalbert Kaycee

      You have made a good point bro,may God help us

  • Truth

    “arrogance and display of “unnecessary self-importance” . This phrase captured accurately what a lot of people think about Oby. It is unfortunate that a pastor’s wife can be that arrogant. For those who would like to argue wait until you have a direct dealing with this lady.

    • redeem

      Which Pastor is she married to//this Ibo woman ? That man must be on his knees fasting 24 hours of the day to enable him have peace at home and escape her wrath-Sad tha they go about begging for money from the millioniares who made their money from politics and oil deals-in the south west ati the fulani north–opertate a bank account–thought the whole thing was a self-less service to humanity–I said it the other day that an Ibo woman to spend her Kudi to travel to London–for an interview with BBC–impossible–Aware the entire Chibok thing is being arranged by APC– for the janjaweeds in boko haram-she ended upp dsigracing her self–period–

    • phemi

      Oby is actually a pastor.If you still do not like her then you have to read about the prophets in the old testament!They did not hesitate to tell the Kings the truth at all times.We do not have such people any more as our pastors are Jet-setters now..So God Bless Oby all the days of her life for doing what you and i cannot do!Abi you fit march go Villa?You wey wan ride bentley on your meagre salary!

  • felix

    all d governemt apparachik has become d tools in of jonathan but 4 too long cause dis madness will soon end, we ve here before remember.

  • felix

    all d government apparachik has become a tool in hands of jonathan, soon dis madness will end , we ve been here b4 remember

  • SAM BABALOLA

    Shame on youMarilyn Orga, SSS is suppose to be apolitical, Madam Oby , Due Process . Was once a Minister, A World Bank officer , many years ago, but today she remain relevant,her name is all over the world, she is becoming an household name. She is not arrogant but exercising her right, This SSS is not to opress people but serve the intrest of people.Do you think your name will ever be remembered the 2nd day you remove your uniform , even in your village , talkless of your LGA, Do you think she doesn’t have enough by now talkless of supporting this noble cause for your Naira,suppose one of your daughters is among this Chibok girls.As a spoke person it must not be gabage in gabage out.As a Civil Servant try and be civil. If one Boko Haram appears in your office now,you will be the first to run. Please let all face fact , speak facts and stop dividing the country with our utterances , so that we can collectively exterminate BH.

    • iCubed

      apolitical?……so basically you confirm that the whole issue with the #BringBackOurGirls movement is all about politics?

  • Citizen

    Being educated does not mean you have earned right to disregard others. ” The President and the security agencies have become the objects of attacks and vilification and yet, there is very little that is being done to point at the way forward. I know that as day follows night, we shall pull out of this tragedy that we face as a nation…” father Mathew Kukah.

  • uduakomiri

    It is shameful that Nigerian officials from top to bottom use the instruments of the state to intimidate and harass whoever disagrees with them. It is just plain childish. Maturity stems from the ability to take criticisms and commendations in public office. It is important to have a balance between critics and supporters because the government needs to be on its toes all the time to serve the people well. Jonathan’s government, just like previous Nigerian governments have a penchant for playing the bully and being intolerant. We saw this behaviour in Port Harcourt where those protesting against the governor of Rivers State were allowed to do so by the police while those marching in support of those perceived as being critical of the president were prevented from doing so by Mbu who believed he was doing the bidding of ‘orders from above’.
    Our government must start showing maturity. Our leaders too must learn maturity and exercise some self-control because at the end of the day, history tend to remember those who stood up to power more than it remembers bad presidents. Dele Giwa, and Gani are good examples. IBB and Abacha are two of the most power drunk heads of state in Nigeria, and to many decent Nigerians these two define the meaning of bad. Jonathan should for once sit back and think. That thing a dog is barking at, a goat saw it ages ago and kept his cool.
    Power and authority lasts only for a while. 4 years should not feel like eternity. Maybe Jonathan has forgotten Turai Yardua who served for more than a year as Nigeria’s first unelected female head of state while her husband lay dying in a Saudi hospital. Today, no one even remembers that Turai was once holding court in Aso Rock.
    Had I known is often the wisdom of foolish people

  • redeem

    Its clear from the shame this pastors wife brought to herself that PATIECE is a virtue which cannot be bought from jankara ati alaba market–unless sponsored by APC–30 minutes delay cannot be said to be a delay———————–giving her background as thw wife of a pastor–but such can be understood when glimpsed from her CONSULTANCY work with APC-