Like wild fire in the harmmatan season, the news of the invasion of the State Security Service office at the Headquarters in Abuja broke out and spread at about noon on Sunday, 30 March, 2014. At first, one had wondered how our highly revered and dreaded men of State Security Service could allow this kind of ugly incident to be their “portion”, just in the same way I was loath to accept this invasion perspective. Though in one fell swoop I did rush to access the social media to find out the authenticity or otherwise of the news story, yet there and then virtually all online news sites were terse with news about the event – all still apparently awaiting “further details” on the matter at the time. Even the speculation at some point that what had happened was a coup of sort as being peddled around by some rumour mongers on the social media did not in any way help to lessen my rising curiosity.
In a short while, however, the spokesperson of the State Security Service, Ms. Marilyn Ogar, was reported by certain online media as saying that what had actually happened was just an attempted but foiled jailbreak by some Boko Haram suspects under the Service’s custody. Needless to say that it was at this point I began to think critically about certain things relating to issues in the Boko Haram jailbreak. But somehow unable to comprehend the possibility of this scenario, I had unconsciously asked myself: “since when did the men of the SSS become Boko Haram members?” Of course this may seem to be somewhat irrelevant, and so if I am asked now to reconcile the nexus this question shares with the entire scenario, I doubt if I can precisely tell. But, nevertheless, I guess I was only thinking in my innermost recess at the time that if indeed such thing did actually take place, then it must have been orchestrated by men of the Service themselves. And my simple reason for this conclusion at the time was not unconnected with the fact that the SSS appears to be one security agency that operates diligently and the most careful of all others in the discharge of its duties. And rightly or wrongly, I am still inclined to believe that its members do not kill anyhow or for the fond of it or just make a “deliberate” mistake without a belied intention to correct a certain anomaly. However, with this mindset, I therefore concluded that there could be more to this Boko Haram attempted but foiled jailbreak than meets the eye.
But here we are now. It is unimaginable and disheartening that a set of heartless, callous, cruel and bloodthirsty marauders ( that called themselves Boko Haram members) who had spilled blood of innocent and hapless Nigerians could still be exposed to enjoy the benefit of being fed with tax payers’ money – in the course of which we are being made to understand that the SSS man on duty in this regard was overpowered by one the Boko Haram suspects whose action triggered off the SSS-Boko Haram gun duel that allegedly ensued. As funny as this SSS side of the drama may seem, the point is that there appears to be no justification whatsoever for the same people who take delight in killing and sending scores of innocent Nigerians to their early graves to be apprehended, kept in security facilities and then be nourished with well-prepared dishes all in the name of safeguarding/guaranteeing their so-called fundamental human rights. This is not only preposterous on the side of those who feed them – the government and the SSS alike – but it amounts to doing a great disservice to the souls of the departed victims of Boko Haram operations. Painfully, it does not in any way seem to be anything far from sheer stupidity that these members of the Boko Haram sect who more often than not are apprehended in the course of their relentless efforts and/or battle to get rid of Nigerian security agents and the civilian population alike are the same set of people to be subsequently treated with attention based on certain fair stipulations of the law – all in the name of respecting their so-called human rights. It is even more painful and ironical that while the military and other security personnel are in the heavily vulnerable states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno striving and fighting with terrorists and, at times, losing their precious lives in the process, some of these terrorists caught alive in the conflagration would be flown to Abuja and only to be well fed to live on while they are reported to be awaiting the full wrath of the law they obviously do not know or care to know about its existence. Honestly, it is absolutely nonsensical to be feeding some set of terrorists in Abuja for whatever reasons while the military and other security personnel continue to work round the clock in the various bushes spread across the North-East geo-political zone in a painstaking attempt to kill their terrorist counter-parts there.
Nevertheless, if indeed the SSS wants Nigerians to take them by their words, then there is need for further clarifications on the pattern of detaining these Boko Haram suspects, among other questions. For one, relevant among these questions are: were these terror suspects detained individually in a cell room or collectivel in an open hall? Or were they just left to move freely, within their individual detention rooms or their collective open hall? Again, in attending to these suspected terrorists for whatever reasons, including the need to feed them, was it the task one or more operatives of the DSSS? Assuming that two or more operatives were often involved, how then would a single detained terror suspect be able to overpower two or more operatives, even with handcuff possibly tied around his hands? These are few relevant questions of abiding interest that the DSSS are bound to address while belaboring on the so-called Boko Haram suspects’ attempted but foiled jailbreak.
Onyiorah Chiduluemije Paschal.