Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 5 July 2018 | 1,080 times
The Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Tuesday, opened up on what he went through in the hands of the Department of State Services (DSS) but vowed that he would continue to speak the truth to power irrespective of whose ox is gored.
Abaribe, who was arrested and detained for several days by DSS for allegedly sponsoring Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), thanked Nigerians, especially his colleagues at the National Assembly for standing by him throughout his ordeal.
The lawmaker who spoke under Order 42 of the Senate Standing Rule vowed that he would not be caged by the detention, adding that he is on administrative bail which he promised to challenge in the court of law.
He promised: “I will continue to tell the truth, I will continue to stand by this country and I will continue to say no person is bigger than this country.”
Abaribe told his colleagues that he was arrested on Friday, June 22 at the gate of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel during the 2018 World Congress of the International Press Institute, (IPI) in Abuja.
According to him, “I was taken to the office of the DSS by 11:30 in the morning and subsequently by 5pm I was taken to my house for a search of my residence.
“When we got to my house, that was the point at which I was now formally informed of why I was arrested because the search warrant that was used stated clearly that I’m being accused of aiding and sponsoring a proscribed organisation, IPOB and so that the search of my house was to look for evidence of such.
“After the search which took another 5 to 6 hours, I was taken to the office of the DSS about 12 midnight and now kept there.
“However l have been released, but, through the intervention of all well-meaning Nigerians led by you (the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki) and the leadership of the Senate. So, I am very glad and grateful and want to use this opportunity to thank all Nigerians who were concerned and who did everything to secure my release.
“Nothing has been found for the allegations that were made. Up till this moment, I am still on bail, administrative bail by the DSS. Every morning I have to report at the DSS, but of course, these things are going to be challenged in the court of law.
“I want to crave your indulgence to tell every Nigerian where I want to go and where I am going to. I will do this by hinting you, Mr President, distinguished colleagues, a quotation from the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country.
“It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
In his remarks, Dr Bukola Saraki said all the senators were happy to receive Abaribe back to the upper legislative chamber.
“It was an unfortunate situation, but we hope that things will definitely restore back to normal in all these issues that concerns you.
“It is one of these sacrifices unfortunately that we all have to make in deepening our democracy.”
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