The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Lagos chapter, has condemned in its entirety the activities of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) officials for invading the association’ secretariat on Friday.
The association, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Debo Oshundun, over the weekend craved for timely intervention of appropriate authorities to step in the matter before it further degenerates.
It is on record that officials of the Directorate of State Service invaded the Lagos SWAN Secretariat without court injunction or summon for their action contravening any existing law that established it.
“DSS operatives stormed our Secretariat in three Hilux vehicles at about 10:00am with the sole aim of sealing the building.
“But shortly before sealing off the premises, the Operatives ensured that a Caretaker Committee was inaugurated to take charge of the affairs of the association despite duly-elected Executive Members inaugurated by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
“After sealing off the Lagos SWAN Secretariat inside the National Stadium, the DSS operatives moved to Teslim Balogun Stadium with a towing vehicle to remove the Lagos SWAN bus given to us by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu with the instructions of Honor Sirawoo, the factional President of SWAN, who is the current Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“Sirawoo instructed the DSS to bring the bus to Port Harcourt.
“It took the intervention of the Chairman and Director-General of the Lagos State Sports Commission to ensure that the bus was not taken away by the DSS working with the instructions of a Permanent Secretary in Rivers State Government who invaded Lagos.
“On this note, we challenge the DSS to tell the world its role in the affairs of Lagos SWAN who in no way threatens the state security.
“We like to state clearly that there are no court injunctions or summons to the effect of sealing our cherished Secretariat. Such an approach reminds one of the Baboon Republic back in the day.
“We appeal to the Directorate of State Service to refrain from dabbling into SWAN affairs and to also discharge its activities without favour to any party.
“Sealing the Lagos SWAN Secretariat without recourse to court injunction or summon is ridiculous and saddens our hearts, that a government agency discharged her duty without due process.
“However, we told our members to remain calm and go about their business in the face of the latest antics.
“We are appealing to the NUJ President for timely intervention in order to ensure that the situation does not further degenerate,” the statement read.