Barely 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan’s reply to an earlier letter written to him by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, the nation’s security agencies have concluded arrangements to “interview” the former leader, for him to “explain details” of some of the allegations he made in the letter.
LEADERSHIP gathered that but for the absence of the former leader from the country, an inter-departmental team of the nation’s security apparatus was on the verge of visiting Obasanjo in Abeokuta or at his farm in Otta, Ogun State on the mission, which a source called “routine”.
It was also gathered that even though President Jonathan had in his response to the former president’s letter given indications that relevant security agencies would probe some of the allegations in the December 2, 2013 letter sent to him, the move to investigate had indeed been concluded before the president’s letter that was released to the press Sunday night.
According to the source, the inter-departmental security team has in it representatives of the Department of State Service (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Police.
Regardless of the arrangement, the source said it was not meant to be an invitation, as such could be misinterpreted as government’s moving against those with dissenting voices.
“The best the security agencies can do under this circumstance is to interview the former president for us to be given the opportunity to know from him what the nation’s security community did not know before now.
“You ought to know that security apparatus does not work like politicians; anywhere and whenever politicians have problems, security agencies tend to steer clear, because they know how they settle their differences.
“But in this case, certain issues have been unravelled in form of allegations in the said letter, which in the thinking of those in the best position, requires that further information be sought from the former president.
“But the only thing is that he has to be given first charge respect as a former president of the country; it is either the team visits him in Abeokuta or in his Otta farm or anywhere he deems necessary, in order for him to explain details to the team,” he said.
He further said, “This is very important and needs not to be politicised, because some of the issues border on the nation’s security and security of individuals who are players in the polity.”
Obasanjo, had in his letter sent to President Jonathan, alleged that he was training a killer squad to watch over 1,000 perceived political opponents.
Part of the letter had read: “Allegation of keeping over 1000 people on political watch list rather than criminal or security watch list and training snipers and other armed personnel secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for political purposes like Abacha and training them where Abacha trained his own killers, if it is true, it cannot augur well for the initiator, the government and the people of Nigeria.
“Here again, there is the lesson of history to learn from for anybody who cares to learn from history. Mr. President would always remember that he was elected to maintain security for all Nigerians and protect them.
“And no one should prepare to kill or maim Nigerians for personal or political ambition or interest of anyone.
The Yoruba adage says, ‘The man with whose head coconut is broken may not live to savour the taste of the succulent fruit.’ Those who advise you to go hard on those who oppose you are your worst enemies.
Democratic politics admits and is permissive of supporters and opponents. When the consequences come, those who have wrongly advised you will not be there to help carry the can. Egypt must teach some lesson.”
When contacted the special adviser to the president on political matters, Ahmed Gulak said, “Whether or not the security agencies have set up a team to either have audience with the former president or not remains within the purview of the security agencies.
Only the office of the NSA or any other relevant security official can answer that question because it is not a political matter but a security one.
“Besides, you have read the president’s reply; he made it clear that the security agencies will probe; so take it like that.”