NASS Members Fear, Fault DSS Over Yuletide Kidnap Warning

A cross-section of parliamentarians during the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja on Thursday (8/10/20). 

Members of the National Assembly have criticised the Department of State Services for going public with its warning to lawmakers without a formal security notice to the parliament on potential threats.

Several lawmakers who were contacted by our correspondent on Wednesday denied getting any advisory from the DSS to the National Assembly.

Some of them, however, expressed fear over the notice.

The DSS had on Tuesday said federal and state lawmakers who will soon begin their recess and other vacating public and private workers were susceptible to kidnapping, assassinations and armed robbery among others during this period.

The secret service, therefore, urged all Nigerians to remain vigilant at all times.

The Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, while handing down the warning at a press briefing in Abuja, had said, “Recessing members of National and state Houses of Assembly and other public /private sector workers on vacation may be predisposed to threats of various degrees.

“These individuals are susceptible to kidnapping, hijack, assassination, armed robbery and political manipulations.

“They are advised to be security conscious in order not to fall victims of these attacks and destructive political manoeuvres.”

The National Assembly members who reacted to the DSS, however, stated that there was no security alert transmitted from the Service to the parliament.

A member of the House of Representatives from a state in the North-East said, “We are in trouble.”

He also said the DSS’ warning should have come by way of an advisory.

Similarly, another member from the South-West said, “There is no letter conveying this.”

Reacting to a question on the public warning, the lawmaker said, “They always play to the gallery.”

The Senate, however, declined to speak on the matter.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Bashiru, said, “We don’t have any comments. It is not our job. We are not security operatives.”

Bashiru refused to make more comments when asked follow-up questions.


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