DSS operatives invade Lagos sportswriters’ secretariat to inaugurate ‘illegal committee’
After some operatives of the Department of State Services pried into what appears to be an internal dispute of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, there are clear indicators that the secret police has become an agency that may be used to settle personal scores.
This comes after some DSS agents invaded the secretariat of the Lagos chapter of SWAN secretariat on Friday to carry out an operation that has now become the subject of public controversy.
The Guardian can report that the Lagos chapter of SWAN has condemned the invasion of its secretariat, situated inside the National Stadium, Surulere, by the DSS operatives without a court injunction or summon.
The association, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Debo Oshundun, on Saturday, called on the relevant authorities to step into the impasse before it further degenerates.
The statement read: “DSS operatives stormed our Secretariat in three Hilux vehicles at about 10 am with the sole aim of sealing the building.
“But shortly before sealing off the premises, the operatives ensured that a caretaker committee was inaugurated to take charge of the affairs of the association despite duly-elected Executive Members inaugurated by NUJ and led by Mr. Debo Oshundun still in office.
“After sealing off of the Lagos SWAN Secretariat inside the National Stadium, the DSS operatives moved to Teslim Balogun Stadium with a towing vehicle to remove the Lagos SWAN bus given to us by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu with the instructions of Honor Sirawoo, the factional president of SWAN, who is the current Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“Sirawoo instructed the DSS to bring the bus to Port Harcourt his base. The bus was donated by the Lagos State governor to the state chapter of the association.
“It took the intervention of the Chairman and the Director-General of the Lagos State Sports Commission to ensure that the bus was not taken away by the DSS, working under the instructions of a Permanent Secretary in the Rivers State Government.
“On this note, we challenge the DSS to tell the world its role in the affairs of Lagos SWAN who in no way threatens the state security.
“We like to state clearly that there are no court injunctions or summons to the effect of sealing our cherished Secretariat. Such approach reminds one of a Baboon Republic back in the day.
“We appeal to the DSS to refrain from dabbling into SWAN affairs and to also discharge its activities without favour to any party.
“Sealing the Lagos SWAN Secretariat without recourse to court injunction or summon is ridiculous and saddens our hearts, that a government agency discharged her duty without due process.
“However, we told our members to remain calm and go about their business in the face of the humiliation.
“We are appealing to the NUJ President for timely intervention in order to ensure that the situation does not further degenerate.”