Ten days to the general election, the Department of State Security (DSS), on Tuesday, reinvited a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-kayode, over his comments on alleged coup plot, even as it warned political parties and their media managers against unguarded utterances capable of heating up the polity.
It said political parties should apply restraint in their utterances and public communication engagements prior to and after the general election.
This is as the Special Assistant on Public Communication to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, has called on Fani-Kayode to tender an unreserved public apology to Atiku and the military.
Fani-kayode is billed to face the DSS again on Wednesday, a statement issued by the Spokesman of DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, stated.
“Political parties and their media managers are advised to apply restraint in their utterances and public communication engagements prior to and after the general election.
‘This is to avoid heating up the polity and evoking tendencies that could lead to violent reactions as well as undermine peace and order”, it said.
On the second invitation extended to the former minister and one of the media managers of the presidential campaign of the APC, the agency said he is expected to appear before investigators today.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) hereby informs the public that it invited Chief Femi Fani-Kayode to its National Headquarters, Abuja on 13th February, 2023. The invitation was in respect of an investigation of some of his allegations and insinuations relating to issues relevant to national security.
“Chief Fani-Kayode faced a panel, which interviewed him on the subject matter. Afterwards, the service granted him administrative bail and directed that he makes routine returns to the office with effect from Wednesday, 15th February, 2023 till otherwise. The investigation, however, continues,” it said.
Meanwhile, in a statement, yesterday, Shaibu said Fani-Kayode’s “regret” was not enough without a public apology issued to Atiku and the military. “To ensure that he is truly remorseful of his self-confessed lie that the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, met with army generals with the aim of executing a coup against the democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Fani-Kayode, the Director of Special Projects and New media of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, has been asked to tender an unreserved public apology to the former Vice President of Nigeria.
“Fani-Kayode’s regret is a step in the right direction, but this is not sufficient. Who exactly is he apologising to? He needs to be specific. He needs to apologise to Waziri Atiku Abubakar for trying to impugn his character. He also needs to apologise to the military for denigrating that revered institution.
“Fani-Kayode is a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with over two million followers across social media platforms. He is a lawyer and ought to understand the implication of libel.
“Apart from the criminal aspect of his tweets, he has also committed defamation and thus must be made to apologise for his inane insinuations.
“There should be a fine line between political propaganda and crime. When a person in the calibre of a former minister is unable to differentiate between the two, it becomes worrisome. His allegation of a planned coup should not be taken lightly. Such juvenile drivel must not be tolerated, not even in the name of politics,” Shaibu added.
Kingsley Nwezeh and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja