Pat Utomi & Emeka Ezeife Embarrassed & Stopped by DSS from Launching Book Praising Ojukwu
A former governor of Anambra state, Emeka Ezeife and Professor Pat Utomi were left red-faced after officials of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) prevented them from speaking at a book launch in Awka, Anambra State.
According to the Independent, they were stopped from speaking at a book launch by the officials who claimed to be acting on an order from the presidency.
Speaking about the incident, Emeka Ezeife said:
“The President does not seem to have some conscience by doing certain things against some people. He does it without thinking back as if there are some people that should be suppressed and some people who are above the law.
"Let me tell you what is happening now. Now I am in Awka, where young students decided to launch a book on the vision of our heroes past. They decided to use Odumegwu Ojukwu’s name in the launching. Some boys ago met me to play a role in the launching after I went to the University of Calabar to attend a very beautiful conference where Maitama Sule, Ken Nnamani, Ibrahim Mantu and others were in attendance.
"The same students organized something at Women Development Centre, Awka. But I arrived Awka at night, I started hearing that the Department of State Service (DSS) was discouraging the event in Awka, the students had paid the money for using the Women Development Centre. When I arrived at night, I went straight to the governor, Dr. Willie Obiano but the governor was not in town.
"I was only able to get through to the Chief of Staff and I asked him why some people would be treated this way; why the President continued to treat the South East as if he wants them to leave Nigeria. I do not know. Some of us are forced to ask that question. Nigeria is not Buhari, and Buhari is not Nigeria.
"I went to the state commissioner of Police in Anambra and discussed the issue with him, and of course it was not his business, but it is part of it because if there is violence, he would be involved in controlling it. But there can be no violence because the people are so peaceful; nobody was carrying gun or weapon and there was nothing in the launching that is against the government.
"I went to look for the state Director of the SSS, but I could not find him that night. I met some small young officers but the Anambra state Police commisioner was kind enough to send me the telephone number of the state Director of SSS whom I talked to. I explained all the circumstances and how peaceful everything was and I discovered I was one of the problems.
"Those who talked to the young boys told them they do not like me and Pat Utomi playing a role in the launching. I called the Director of SSS and he told me that the directive was from Abuja, that it was a directive from above and that there was nothing he could do. He said that I should talk to the DSS in Abuja and I knew that they all travelled with the President. I tried to reach the operation officer and his phone would ring and would not answer. This is what is called humiliation in a very dehumanizing way.
"If the launching was in praise of Ojukwu, what could be wrong in praising him in Anambra state. This is what I am talking about. You would look at the situation and you wonder that people who have no business of carrying Ak-47, carry the weopons and saying that they are taking care of cattles. And the DSS told a lie against Abia state, a lie that could cause ethnic crisis in the country. There is no investigation on that. They did not go to the Police; they just went out and accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Five people were involved in the kidnapping, two Igbo were involved and they said IPOB buried people. I do not know what is happening. We should not talk with bitterness too much.”