State Security Service officials on Wednesday detained former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, at the Murtala Muhammed International Aiport in Lagos.
He was waylaid on his way to boarding an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai and his travel documents and air ticket were seized by the SSS official on duty.
Taking to Twitter, the former minister told his over 98,000 followers: “The SSS at the Lagos Airport tell me they have orders to detain me and prevent me from traveling… the waiting game starts.”
A source told the Vanguard the former minister was approached at the check-in area and told he could not be allowed to travel. After he was quizzed for over an hour, his travel documents were released to him and he was allowed to continue on his journey to Dubai.
However, El-Rufai’s tweets tell a different story. He tweeted within the hour saying “So after some 15 minutes of fidgeting and unlawful detention, I am seated in the lounge and on my way to Dubai”.
SSS officials at the international airport refused to confirm the reason behind his detainment or on what grounds he was interrogated, but many suspect it to be in connection to El-Rufai’s harsh criticism of government.
El-Rufai sees it as simply another display of misplaced priorities on the part of the government.
“Our security agencies are a joke. Secession in Ogoni, BH killings in Kogi, war-mongering by Dokubo, they do jack! Buth they have time [for] me… SMH” El-Rufai tweeted.