The Director General of the State Security, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, has said the State Department will not be deterred by the gruesome killings of 10 of its operatives by suspected members of the Ombatse Cult in Nasarawa State.
Ekpenyong said only those who were perpetrating acts inimical to the well being of the country, would surrender to the State Department.
The DG stressed that the SSS was irrevocably committed to the performance of its sacred security responsibilities of protecting the society against the criminal activities of terrorists and others who were involved in violent crimes in the society.
Ekpeyong made this comment at a candle light ceremony held on Saturday in Abuja, in honour of 10 operatives of the service who were killed alongside other security operatives while on a mission to arrest the Head of the Ombatse cult, Alla Agu, at Lakyo community of Nasarawa State on May 7, 2013.
A total of 103 security personnel comprising the 10 SSS operatives, riot policemen and conventional policemen were killed in the operation which also claimed the life of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Momoh, who led the operation.
He said, “For the rest of us here, in this moment of sorrow, adversity and temptation, let us in unison agree not to buckle or be cowed. Never.
“Evil has never triumphed over good. We remain resolute, determined and focused.
“Therefore, for the sake of our colleagues and the survival of our country, we will never be the ones to raise the White Flag. The terrorists, the kidnappers, the bandits will be the ones. They must raise the white flag.”
He berated those behind the killings of the security personnel, saying they only converted their community to a burial place of innocent security men on a mission to maintain the peace for the collective good of society.
Ekpenyong explained that the operatives were deployed to participate in the failed operation to arrest the activities of the Ombatse group, which according to him, were threatening the peace in the area.
The SSS DG alleged that the members of the sect forcibly initiated some Muslims and Christians on different occasions into the sect.
“The Ombatse worshippers had on April 2013 at Arugba Isa village, in Lafia North District, forcibly initiated some members of Izalla muslims. Again on 28 April, 2013, some Christians in three churches in Gidan Gambo village were forcefully initiated.
“Similarly, on 2nd May 2013 at Kayarde village, an attempt by members of the group to initiate some muslims almost led to a violent confrontation.
“Because, from experience, this was the same manner that the Maitatsine sect and Boko Haram terrorists started.”
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser, National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, (retd.), urged the members of the service to be resolute in the performance of their duties promising that the late men would not die in vain.
He said, “These are very difficult times for all of us and it is not a moment of rejoicing. To the other operatives of the service, use the unfortunate incidence as a motivation. We know what we are up against.
“Everyday you go out might be the last one you see your loved ones but that should not deter you. We must always conduct ourselves very professionally. Their deaths will not be in vain.”
The Pioneer Director General of the Nigeria Security Organisation, Gen. Mohammed Abdulahi, (retd.), who represented past directors general of the SSS, berated the human rights community for keeping silent in the face of the killings of the security personnel.