Ghali Na’Abba, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has made public the discussion he had with the Department of State Services (DSS).
Mr. Na’Abba was invited by the DSS over recent criticism of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. He had last week Thursday said the country was becoming a failed state under the president.
A day after that remark, he was invited to appear before the secret police today. While the invitation was linked to his comments, the presidency said preliminary findings showed he was not invited over the criticism.
But addressing reporters after honoring the invitation, the former lawmaker said he was asked to explain some of the words he used while criticizing the Nigerian leader, adding that he stood by his words.
“I did not disown anything I said. I will never mince my words. Whatever I see as the truth I say it,” he told reporters Monday evening in Abuja.
“And that is what I said in my interview and said during the press conference. And I can never say anything that is not the truth.
“What happened was there were certain words that appeared in my address and interview which needed some clarifications and which clarification, I made.
“We were both satisfied with what happened. We advised one another. The DSS has their own job and their own experience. I too have my own vocation also have my own experience. And we felt highly enriched by our experiences.
“That is how things are supposed to be. It went successfully. I enjoyed my stay there. I had no problems with the way they received me.
“In my address, I used the words ‘failed state’ and ‘self-determination’. When we say out words, what we mean may be different from what other persons perceive and that was what happened.
“Self-determination simply in our own context means Nigerians must be allowed to live the way they want to live.
“It does not mean the mean dismemberment of the country. A lot of times from a security point of view when you say self-determination it is meant that it is the dismemberment of the country, which is not so. This needed clarification.
“Failed state is any state that cannot provide a lot of services. What happened was that in their own opinion I did not use the words appropriately and it is only human to use words not appropriately and I told them that what I meant there is that the indices that characterize a failed state are prevalent with us,” he added.