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Beyond sacking CSO, Buhari’s right-sizing of DSS is rolling heads

Since resuming as president, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari (don’t call me General, he says) is right-sizing his personal security apparatus and heads are rolling. He has sacked his Chief Security Officer, Mr. Abdulrahman Mani, his Administrative Officer Widi Liman, reversed about 100 arbitrary promotions of men of the Department of State Service (DSS) and posted out most of those who manned Aso Rock Security under Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

Heads are rolling and former spokesperson of the DSS, Marylyn Ogar, who was approved to proceed on three years’ study leave abroad under former DG, Ita Ekpeyong has been demoted and told to return to the country immediately. Ogar’s offence may have been her unsubstantiated allegation that the All Progressives Congress wanted to hack into the database of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The new acting Director-General, DSS, Mr. Lawan Daura, who replaced Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, is no doubt acting out Buhari’s script. Men of few words like Buhari don’t yak, they act. Those who still swear that Buhari is soft and it was the ‘tougher’ General Tunde Idiagbon that ruled Nigeria as Buhari’s No.2 (1983-85) should now do a rethink. You may see the hand of Daura, but it is the mind of Buhari at work.

It has also been alleged that Mani and Liman were sacked for leaking Buhari’s itinerary to outsiders, specifically to former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Also that Mani dared to upturn the orders of Buhari’s ADC Lt. Col Abubakar who ordered DSS out of the inner perimeters of Aso Rock, replacing them with soldiers. Abubakar had issued a memo redeploying DSS officials from 10 beats that they had hitherto covered inside the Presidential Villa.

Daura, the new DSS boss is said to have ordered the reversal of the Jonathan-DSS promotions. Those who benefited from the exercise nationwide were said to have been promoted for their loyalty and a third out of the 100 or so ‘undeserving’ had served in Aso Rock.

Let’s take a look at Lawan Daura. Who is he? Buhari recalled him from retirement on July 2, 2015 to be the Director General of the State Security Service, replacing Ita Ekpeyong who occupied the position between September 7, 2010 and July 2, 2015.

At 62, he is 10 years younger than his kinsman, Buhari. They were both born and raised in Daura, Katsina State.
Lawan Daura attended the Ahmadu Bello University between 1977 and 1980, served in various capacities as a state director of Security service in Kano, Sokoto, Edo, Osun, Imo and Lagos States before his retirement at the statutory age of 60 in 2013.

Buhari’s appointment of his kinsman as DG, DSS obviously courts loyalty. More heads may roll across the chief ranks of the armed forces. Those who thought they would enjoy at least four more years of impunity – who even ridiculed Buhari on global TV – now have him as their Commander-in-Chief.

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