We Have Forgiven Killers Of Our Operatives - SSS DG
By: Chika Otuchikere on May 27, 2013 - 2:54am
The director-general of the Department of State Services, Mr Ita Ekpeyong, during the weekend announced that the Service had forgiven the killers of some police and SSS operatives in Eggon, Nassarawa State.
Over 70 security officials including 10 SSS operatives and police personnel were killed in Eggon community in Nasarawa State when they were going to arrest the leader of a notorious Ombatse cult group accused of forcefully initiating Muslims and Christians into the group.
Ekpeyong made the announcement during a candlelight service held in honour of the 10 SSS operatives killed during the attack. He said that the killers had been handed over to the almighty God for vengeance.
In a swift reaction during the event, the pioneer director-general of the Nigeria Security Organisation NSO, Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed, told the large crowd comprising members of the SSS family, family members of the deceased and well-wishers that the past DGs of the SSS had not forgiven the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
The SSS DG who in his speech during the occasion recalled the incident leading to the onslaught noted that the security operatives embarked on the deadly mission to avert what could become the emergence of another case of Boko Haram or Maitasine.
He said: “I want to recall that exactly 17 days today some 10 dedicated and highly committed officers and men of this family were sent in an operation. The operation was aimed at fulfilling our sacred mandate, that is, the protection and preservation of our nation which is our collective patrimony. They went to keep the peace and douse the tension generated in the state by the activities of an unscrupulous group of primitive people.
“This group had on 20th April ,2013, at Arugba Isa village in Lafia North forcefully initiated some members of Izala Muslims. Also, on 28th April some Christians in Gidan Gambo village were forcefully initiated. Similarly on 2nd May 2013, at Kayarda village, an attempt by some of the group members to initiate some Muslims almost led to a violent confrontation. It was in an attempt to arrest the situation from further deteriorating that law enforcement agents were sent because, from experience, this was the same manner that the Maitasine and the Boko Haram terrorists started.
“We have waited in vain for your return and, accordingly, we have come to terms with the painful reality that you have paid the supreme price so that Nigerians can live in peace and be united. But I want to promise you that you will never die in vain because when you live in the hearts of those you love is not to die. You will never die because your death has emboldened us, inspired and united us. It has motivated and strengthened us.
“We will remain resolute determined and focused. Therefore, for the sake of our colleagues and the survival of our country, we will never raise the white flag. Those who do not wish this country well will. To those who could only kill the body, note that you have made your community an ignoble sepulcher of innocent law enforcement agents and that even though our spirits and will are cast in iron yet we have forgiven you. We have obediently handed all of you over to the almighty God since he taught us that ‘vengeance is mine’.”
The former NSO DG in is reaction pointed out that it was the first time a tragedy of such magnitude was befalling the force and called on Nigerians to rally round the services to secure the nation. He said: “We the past DGs share this sorrow with you. Since the inception of the service I don’t think we have had a tragedy such as this. This is very, very touching and we share your sorrow. I was looking at the TV yesterday and I was looking at a man who led to the death of these gallant men saying that his gods killed the operatives. I wonder why that man is still free and talking. I wonder. I can’t understand it.
“We have heard about some moles in the police, we have heard about some moles in the military but we have never heard about a mole in the service. This is our pride. Some people said they have forgiven the killers of these young men; we have not forgiven them.”
President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by his chief of staff Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, said he was grieved by the sad news of the death of the operatives and assured that the government was determined to ensure that this wave of criminality was stamped out of the country.