The prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has accused the department of state services (DSS) of ethnic Profiling by issuing sensational, ethnically biased and provocative public statements that are capable of overheating the South East of Nigeria just at the Rights group wonders why security forces are vehemently stoking the embers of divisions and imaginary crisis in the South East of Nigeria.
The Right group has demanded from the secret police to stick to their designation as a secret police and to go about their duties in all parts of the Country the way the enabling law setting them up stipulate without unduly dabbling into media razzmatazz and engaging in media demonisation of any Ethno religious group.
Instead of raising unnecessary alarm targeted at demonising certain group only because their alleged supporters are from the South East of Nigeria, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA accused the DSS of working to undermine the security of the Igbo speaking people and wondered why the same DSS has failed to nip in the bud all the senseless killings and violence unleashed by suspected armed Fulaniherdsmen in all of South East of Nigeria.
“The alarm about some bombs and devices being allegedly imported into South East by IPOB as alleged by DSS and the mode of Communication and the deliberate leaking of such official communication to the media to demonise the South East and paint it like a region that is breeding rebellion, is unprofessional and may have being staged so as to portray the South East of Nigeria as a rebel enclave and to build up a narrative to exonerate armed Fulani herdsmen accused of masterminding many blood cuddling attacks.”
HURIWA then demanded to know thus: “Why has this same DSS not raised a single alarm on how boko haram terrorists invaded a part of Niger State and are at the verge of invading Abuja but only the patriotic governor of Niger State was courageous enough to raise the alarm? why has the DSS not raised alarm regarding how the Fulani Militia that have destroyed many towns and villages in Katsina, Zanfara, and Southern Kaduna buy and import their weapons which they displayed on the many occasions that Sheikh Ahmed Gumi of Kaduna often visit them?”
“Why has the DSS not raised alarm before the many invasions of communities in Benue State by armed Fulani killers who have slaughtered Tiv farmers and even went as far as killing over 70 of these IDPs in their internally displaced camps? why has the DSS not uncovered those who nearly killed Benue governor and even when the media quoted a Fulani group as claiming responsibility, this same DSS, has for a month kept undignified silence?,” HURIWA affirmed.
“But now instead of actually stopping the so -called importation of bombs and arrest and prosecute the sponsors, assuming without conceding that there is elements of believability and actuality, the DSS and the Nigerian Army are raising alarm just to try to destroy the sanity, stability and peace of the South East,” HURIWA alleged.
HURIWA recalled that the Department of State Services had reportedly said the Indigenous People of Biafra’s Eastern Security Network has acquired bombs and explosives with which they intended to destabilise Imo State. The secret police stated that it received intelligence that the explosives were being moved in articulated trucks from Lagos to a hideout in Orlu, Imo State. The DSS stated this in a letter to the Brigade Commander, 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Imo State. The DSS letter with reference number, S.238/5/1538 dated April 26, 2021, was signed by I. Abdullah on behalf of the Imo State DSS Director.”
HURIWA has however accused the DSS of ethnic profiling and for seeking to demonise the South East of Nigeria by deliberately leaking a classified material to the media as an attempt at exonerating the major culprits behind some of these attacks in the South East of Nigeria identified as armed Fulani herdsmen even as the Rights group said an entire internal security architectures that is headed selectively by Fulani/Hausa Northern Moslems have continued to show evidence of Igbo phobia and strong hatred of the Igbo ETHNIC nationality. “Why leak the information to the media? What is the objective and why is the same standard not being used in other regions of the Country whereby terrorists and armed Fulani herdsmen are unleashing violence and killing hundreds of citizens?”, HURIWA asked.
The Rights group said this approach which implies ethnic profiling offends the enabling law setting up the DSS which provides as follows: 1. Establishment of National Security Agencies, there shall, for the effective conduct of national security, be established the following: National Security Agencies, that is to say-
(a) The Defence Intelligence Agency;
(b) The National Intelligence Agency; and
(c) The State Security Service.
2. General duties of the National Security Agencies
(1) The Defence Intelligence Agency shall be charged with responsibility for-
(a) the prevention and detection of crime of a military nature against the security
HURIWA observed that by leaking the classified information just to hurt the image of South Eastof Nigeria, DSS violated their law that states thus: “(b) the protection and preservation of all military classified matters concerning the
security of Nigeria, both within and outside Nigeria;
(c) such other responsibilities affecting defence intelligence of a military nature,
both within and outside Nigeria, as the President, or the Chief of Defence
Staff, as the case may be, may deem necessary.
(2) The National Intelligence Agency shall be charged with responsibility for-
(a) the general maintenance of the security of Nigeria outside Nigeria, concerning
matters that are not related to military issues; and
(b) such other responsibilities affecting national intelligence outside Nigeria as the
National Defence Councilor the President, as the case may be, may deem necessary.