A former Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’aba, has said that he stands by his words that the country was turning to a failed state, adding that what he said was the truth considering the insecurity, corruption and bad governance in the country.
Na’aba was grilled by operatives of Department of State Services on Monday in Abuja over his comment on the plan by his group to bring about a new Nigeria that works for all.
Addressing journalists at the headquarters of the National Consultative Front shortly after his release, the former Speaker said his invitation was bordered on the grounds that he used some words in his address that needed further clarification.
He said he provided clarification in the usage of the words ‘failed state’ and ‘self determination’ that he used in his presentation, which the agents was not comfortable with.
He explained that he did not disown his comments during the press conference and interview, adding that everything he said was the truth.
Na’aba said, “We had an interesting outing with DSS and we went through all my presentations and also interview with Channels TV.
“What happened was that 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 have their own job and their own experience. I too have my own vocation and also my experience. And we felt highly enriched by our experiences.
“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 so far they have observed protocols in peace. It does not mean dismemberment of the country.
“A lot of times from 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 needs 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 is meant there is that the indices that characterizes a failed state are prevalent with us.
“For example, you look at public primary schools you will know that if we continue the way it is m, it is just a matter of time before the nation fails because those who are to be trained, the leaders of tomorrow, if you see the academic building they are being taught and also those who teach them how they are, it is very easy to predict what will happen the next few years.
“So, these are the kinds of things we discussed. We discussed at length. Everything I said was accepted by them in good faith.
“I did not disown anything I said. I will never mince my words. Whatever I see as the truth I say it.”
SaharaReporters, New York