By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The federal government has said that it would not release the former national security adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki and Ibrahim El- Zakzaky being held in detention despite various court orders, declaring that doing so would constitute serious security risk to the country.
It also declared that ‘‘the government does not have any official policy to marginalise any part of the country against the other’’ and warned that those beating war of drums would not escape it should war, God forbid, eventually break out in the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the clarification while fielding questions from journalists at the side line of the 10th Lai Mohammed Annual Ramadan lecture held in his country home, Oro, in Irepodun local government area of Kwara state.
He said the federal government has information at its disposal which could not be divulged because of national security, saying releasing the duo without extracting necessary information from them would have negative implications on national security.
He said: ‘‘At every point in time, a government will make a hard decision between your personal liberty and national security. Now in the wake of 911, the US came out with certain regulations that breached the personal rights of Americans and all of us because of national security.
‘‘In the case of both El- Zakky and Dansuki, we are also talking about national security’’, he explained.
Mohammed said the former national security adviser had refused to account for ‘‘1.2 billion dollars transactions he made in one day’’, an action, he said calls for serious security concerns as such huge amount could be used to ‘‘destabilise the whole country’’ .
‘‘This is an individual who made 1.2 billion dollars transactions in one day and up till today he has refused to tell government where the money went to and who he has given the money and your are saying we should release him .
The minister said since the government would take responsibility for its actions, it cannot guarantee whether the former national security adviser would still stay in the country if granted bail.
On those agitating for a divisive Nigeria and promoting hate speeches, the minister cautioned those ‘‘beating the war of drums, God forbid if the war happens, they will not escape it,” adding that hate speeches continue to gain space in the media because ‘‘comments, personal opinions are now taking the place of facts’’ regretting that some Nigerians swallow what was being published on social media ‘‘hook, line and sinker”.