DSS Grilling: I Regret Raising Coup Alarm – Fani-Kayode
A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Monday conceded that he was wrong by failing to clarify things with relevant authorities before making his controversial statement.
The Director of Special Projects and New Media for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council was invited by the Department of State Services over a series of tweets he made on Saturday, alleging that some high-ranking military officers met with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, with a view to carry out a coup.
Reacting to his invitation after he left the DSS headquarters in Abuja, a sober-looking Fani-Kayode told journalists that he could have been more circumspect and handled things differently.
While admitting that he was grilled for five hours by the DSS operatives who were obviously prepared for him, the former minister said he was encouraged by the fact that he had nothing to hide.
He also disclosed that the security agency asked him to report back on Wednesday and once every other week until they conclude their investigation.
“I think it’s left to them until they now decide whether they feel the need to take a much more approach to charge me to court, or when they feel that I’ve done nothing wrong. But during the course of the discussion, I think it’s fair for me to mention one or two things. I think it’s very self-evident that some of the things that said were regrettable.
“Why do I say so? When news comes out, like somebody’s meeting with Army officers, perhaps one should not have simply believe and accept it even if it is true.
“Perhaps another course could have been taken by saying ‘let me ask the authorities privately. Let me try to find out before I say anything at all.’ I think I would concede that sometimes we have to be more circumspect, especially given the fact that they pointed out that the medium was actually faceless. So we can’t rely on such things.
“Of course, when I say something on my Twitter handle, it is like the whole world is listening. And apparently, what I said really sent shockwaves in a number of places and some people were very hurt by that. I think it’s regrettable that that was the course that was taken. I’m always the first to admit when things are not going in the right way.
“But the most important thing, as I pointed out to them, was that my intention was very clear. The intention was to ensure that the authorities were on top of the situation, and perhaps without investigating Atiku to know if it is true or not. And they responded the following day.
“I think that was really where there was a source of angst on their part that we could have handled it differently. I have absolute confidence in the system and I have absolute confidence in the fact that the DSS is impartial. I am also deeply encouraged by the fact that I have nothing to hide. Though it was a very difficult, I have been interrogated by many security interests including the police and EFCC in the last 15 years. I have been incarcerated. I have been in and out and seen all sorts. But let me tell you that the place nobody really wants to go is probably the DSS. It’s a very challenging place to have to go.”
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