Mailafia, Na’abba: Middle Belt Says There’s Ploy To Shut Alternative Voices

August 24, 2020
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The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) yesterday said with the consistent
invitation of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) and presidential candidate of the African Democracy
Congress (ADC) in the 2019 polls, Dr Obadiah Mailafia and former
speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’abba, that
there are plans by the security agents to shut alternative voices.

In a statement issued by it’s National President Dr Pogu Bitrus, the
Middle Belt said going by the startling revelations disclosed by the
Oxford Economist that attracted outrage from within and outside the
country, Dr. Mailafia would, after his initial appearance at the Jos
office of the DSS, insist that he stood by the media interview but
that few days later, he was re-invited by the secret police in Jos,
and later banned from speaking to the media on the matter.

“Considering these invitations by the DSS to this patriotic Nigerian
who is a distinguished son of the Middle Belt, we are worried that
after appearing before the secret police twice without a fail, another
invitation was issued to Dr Mailafia on Friday August 21, 2020 by the
Nigeria Police requesting him to appear before them tomorrow, Monday
August 24, 2020 in Abuja.

“In what may be seen as subtle acts of intimidating alternative
voices, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rt. Hon.
Ghali Umar Na’Abba, was also a guest of the secret police in Abuja
last Monday where he was grilled over his media interview in which he
was quoted to have called for self-determination for Nigerians.

“Looking at the travails of both Rt. Hon Na’Abba and Dr. Mailafia in
the hands of security agencies over their comments on national issues,
there seems to be a deliberate ploy to stifling alternative voices,”
the statement said adding that as a Forum representing all ethnic
nationalities in the North, for which the Oxford Economist is a
member, “we call on the police to stop further harassment of both the
former Speaker and ADC presidential candidate whose comments were only
meant to serve as wake-up calls for the nation’s security agencies to
tackle the raging insurgency and grave insecurity shredding our
country.”

“The MBF is in constant touch with Dr Mailafia since his ordeal in the
hands of the DSS, and are completely kept abreast of the matter. As a
Forum, we are worried that there are attempts by some unscrupulous
people to either change the narratives or ridicule the source of Dr.
Mailafia’s disclosure as unreliable.

“The Forum wishes to declare that Dr. Mailafia’s disclosure is in
tandem with realities on the ground. We challenge the nation’s
security forces to stop rural killings and ensure the safe return of
our sacked communities now in various Internally Displaced Persons
(IDP) camps back to their ancestral lands.

“Just last Wednesday in Zuru, Kebbi State, the inspector General of
the Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, disclosed that security agencies have
discovered that banditry rocking our nation has assumed an
international dimension, with Nigerien, Sudanese, Malian and Libyan
bandits, among others, unleashing terror on Nigerians. Is that
disclosure by the IG not in tandem with Mailafia’s disclosure?

“We call on both the DSS and the Police to stop further harassment of
Dr. Mailafia and concentrate on their core mandates of securing lives
and property of citizens. We condemn a situation where the police are
simply engaged in persecuting those who are raising their voices to
call the attention of Nigerians and securities agencies to the real
enemies of our nation,” the statement added.

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