The media aide to former military President Ibrahim Babangida, Kassim Afegbua, says his life is now in danger, following the receipt of series of unknown phone calls from people threatening him and his family.
Afegbua had been visiting offices of the Nigerian Police and the Directorate of State Department (DSS) since he issued a statement on behalf of his principal that advised President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The statement was countered by another release purportedly issued by his principal.
Afegbua, in a press release signed and issued Friday in Abuja titled “one statement, many ordeals”, described his current travail in the hands of the DSS as “nauseating and utterly condemnable”.
He, however, said that the threats, intimidation, harassment and psychological torturing would not stop him from exercising his right of free speech and carry out professional responsibility.
The release read, “In the last six days, I have gone through traumatic experience when I was declared wanted by the Nigeria Police. By the strength of that unprofessional declaration, I was treated like a common criminal and fugitive until I showed up at the Police Headquarters Abuja to physically present myself. After what the Police termed a no case issue, they were apologetic and I took my leave. In the evening of that day, Wednesday 7th February, 2018 I got a phone call inviting me to the Headquarters of the Directorate of State Security (DSS).
“I honoured the invitation on Thursday and spent 7 hours waiting for attention. I left the office at 6.50pm when it became clear nobody was ready to tell me what the invitation was meant for. I was informed to report back on Friday 9th February, 2018 at 11am. On arrival on Friday, having spent 2 hours, I was attended to by the Director of Operations and two others who interrogated me on the said statement I issued. My interrogation was recorded electronically and was made to write a statement affirming the issued statement, having collected all my personal details; house address, account number, international passport number and other information.
“I find this whole episode quite nauseating and utterly condemnable. I cannot rationalise why just a statement would amount to subjecting me to rigorous interrogation especially when there was no complainant.
“The action of the Nigeria Police coupled with that of the State Security Service is at best that of a meddlesome interloper and sheer bullying, leaving serious developmental issues to chasing shadows with a view to intimidate, harass and embarrass me.
“Let me state at this point that my life is in danger as we speak. I have been receiving series of unknown phone calls from people threatening me and my family. I will not submit to intimidation, harassment and threats. Certainly not. I have just a life to live and no one under God will live for ever.”
He thanked his principal and members of his family who were constantly in touch with him, saying that General Babangida’s words of encouragement and assurances further bolstered his resolve to soldier on.
He also thanked Nigerians especially the media, members of his family, friends and lawyers for their solidarity and support.
Afegbua said that the support, accolades and motivation he received during this period had given him added confidence to seek elective public office in no distant future.