The Federal Minister of State for Labour and Employment in Nigeria, Festus Keyamo, has petitioned the Department of State Service (DSS) to arrest and investigate Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed for “inciting rebellion” in Nigeria.
In a letter to the Director General of the DSS, Keyamo made known his plea, backed up with reasons, for the investigation of Obi and Datti, the presidential and vice presidential candidate for the Labour Party in the just concluded general election. Keyamo claimed that instead of the Labour Party candidates to let peace reign after the elections, they had constantly made inciting statements across media, which could cause the people of Nigeria to revolt against the President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He quoted in his letter, “In this regard, since the declaration of the Presidential election results, they have been hopping from one media house to the other making incendiary comments and claims about the declaration of the President-Elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). These comments and claims are made, not just within the boundaries of exercising their rights to freedom of speech and the freedom to air their grievances publicly, but they have since crossed the line to call for the outright truncation of democracy by insisting on the adoption of other processes outside the contemplation of our Constitution.
“In some cases, their privies have even called for the establishment of an Interim Government.”
Keyamo referred to a statement made by Datti during an interview on the 22nd of March, “wherein he threatened that if the President-Elect is sworn in on May 29th, 2023, it would ‘signal the end of democracy’”.
Keyamo said, “Posing as an accuser, a judge and a jury all by himself, he unilaterally declared the duly elected President-Elect as ‘unconstitutional’ and, in a subliminal manner, threatened mayhem if the President-Elect is sworn in on May 29th, 2023.”
He also accused Obi and Datti of employing people whose job was to send out inciting messages on social media in order to cause fear and unrest within the country, and to push people to riots.
He then went on to say that while the Labour Party candidates had taken the legal steps of taking their grievances to court, their conduct outside the court of law were causing obstructions, saying, “These conducts and utterances are a build-up to something more sinister and it is important you rein them in NOW!”
Concluding his letter, he wrote, “In the circumstance, I submit this petition in my personal capacity as a patriotic Nigerian to invite/arrest, interrogate and after investigation, if necessary, charge both individuals to court for their conducts which amount to incitement and treasonable felony.”