Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
Nigerian Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has faulted the 48-hour ultimatum given by the Department of State Services (DSS) to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) .
Falana described it as an empty threat.
His reaction followed the ultimatum statement given by the DSS to the NNPC Limited and oil marketers to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country over security threats.
Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesman, had said on Thursday, that the services will start operating all over the nation if Nigerians were not given access to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
Falana, who spoke on a live tv programme on Friday, referred to the ultimatum as a hollow threat.
He emphasised that the NNPC was accountable for distributing petroleum products to all regions of Nigeria and that, should the organization fail to do so, the Federal Government would be required to summon the officials to account and, in certain cases, relieve them of their duties.
“(As) you know, every year, at the end of the year – once it is Christmas – there must be an artificial supply of fuel,” he said.
“The ultimatum will not work because there is no sanction for impunity in Nigeria.
“The State Security Service (SSS) does not operate under the law in Nigeria. It does its own thing. There is nobody to call the agency to order. They will know that it’s just an empty threat because nobody is going to be arrested and prosecuted to teach a lesson.
“The other day, toxic fuel was brought to Nigeria. The government promised, ‘We’re going to deal with them, it will never happen again.’ Was anybody arrested? Was anybody prosecuted? It’s the same thing because they know the people behind it. It’s like oil theft. They know them.”
Falana blamed the threat on economic sabotage while acknowledging the secret service’s security worries. He claimed that continuing to have large lines at gas stations could result in “severe security difficulties.”
The senior attorney cited the constitution to point out that the police were charged with upholding the nation’s internal security.
Falana stated that the president has the authority to enlist the military if the police are unable to maintain sufficient internal security.
“So, this agency is a secret agency required to submit reports: ‘We fear that there will be a threat to the security in Nigeria.’ And the president will then take appropriate action. We must run this country in line with the provisions of the law.
“That (enactment establishing the DSS) is a decree made by the military. But now, we have the constitution. Section 215 has imposed a duty on the police to maintain the internal security of the country.
“But what the SSS – not DSS; it is not a department of state security. It is not a department of the Presidency. It’s the State Security Service for all of us. That body is required to submit reports to the government: ‘This problem may lead to insecurity. What can we do very quickly?’ The internal security of our country is the role of the police,” he said.
The DSS noted that the situation of fuel scarcity had taken on a dimension that was harmful to the security of the nation when it issued the 48-hour ultimatum on Thursday.
After a lengthy, behind-closed-doors meeting with key players in the petroleum industry, Afunanya verified that PMS is available both during and after the holiday season at the secret police headquarters in Abuja.
Particularly in Lagos and Abuja, vehicle owners have struggled for weeks to purchase gasoline from gas stations. While most stores remain closed, the few that are open sell the essential goods for as much as N250 per litre in contrast to the standard price of N169 per litre.
Long, arduous lines of drivers and business owners jostling for fuel at the few open filling stations have resulted from the paucity of supply, with some turning to the illicit market. Traffic on key routes has also gotten worse as a result of the issue, as drivers often block at least one lane to join lines at gas stations.
Estimated reading time: 1 minute(s)
FOOTNOTE: Do you want to share a story with us? Do you want to advertise with us? Do you need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348183319097 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org