Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Front (NDPSF), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari has accused the Department of State Security Services (DSS) of hacking into his Facebook account and disabling it.
In a statement delivered to the media on Monday, September 21m 2015, Rex Ekiugbo Anighoro, spokesman for Dokubo, said that the Facebook account of Asari Dokubo has been disabled by the DSS which serves as Nigeria’s Secret Police. The statement titled, Buhari and APC: Depotism and the Confiscation of Freedom of Expression: Time Bomb Waiting to Explode, the former Niger Delta warlord said, “The eclipse of freedom of expression is now abysmally manifest.”
Dokubo alleged the this clampdown by the DSS is part of a planned operation to arrest and detain opposition politicians, especially those operating on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. He says he had began a serialized article disseminated via his Facebook page detailing the gaffes and hypocrisy of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Although we are not surprised at this junta’s long awaited modus, it remains a sad commentary that we are back to stone age where press freedom is endangered,” Dokubo said.
The statement says that investigations revealed that President Buhari through his media aides had begun the systematic dismantling of accounts of all strong and key opposition voices in the social media network through frivolous petitions of ‘inciting public unrest and the making of hate speeches’ to management of Facebook in their desperate moves to control the network media space.
Co-incidentally, the Editorial Board of The Trent, Monday, had issued a statement in which the newspaper accused the Buhari government of intimidation and bullying of journalists and the press in order to “continue to manipulate the Nigerian people”.
The Editorial was prompted by an open threat to the newspaper’s Executive Editor, Aziza Uko which was published on the government’s official Aso Rock website and signed by a presidential spokesman, Laolu Akande.
“This open threat follows a disturbing pattern in the few months of Buhari’s presidency. It is just one more, in a series of bullying, and threats of arrest targeted at our journalists and Ms. Uko from minions of the government and Nigeria’s Secret Police.
The Nigerian public, the international community, democratic governments around the world, and human rights organisations have been placed on notice with regards to these strong-arm tactics.
President Buhari and his government need to be placed under close observation even as top-ranking officials are mooting the idea of a clampdown on individual and press freedoms by censoring social media in Nigeria. Such an undemocratic move, would amount to a despotic approach to governance by this regime.
Already, the Nigerian government is operating a secretive high-tech surveillance programme which it uses to spy on its citizens, tapping their phones, and hacking their email and social media accounts at will. These tyrannical operations, carried out in the name of “fighting Boko Haram”, are alien to a free and democratic society,” the editorial stated in part.