By Uche Mbah
The campaign to return the former DSS boss, Lawan Daura, back to his post has taken a bizarre tirn since the return of Muhammadu Buhari from his London trip. As was reported by this Magazine, there has been serious lobbying from various quarters for Buhari to bring him back, but the condition under which he was sacked presented a serious bottleneck for the realization of that ambition. Mamman Daura, who is no longer having the high level of respect from Buhari since his ejection from the Villa, is using the Chief of staff to the Government, Abba Kyari, to push his agenda. This has effectively pushed Abba Kyari to allegedly taking some arbitrary actions, since it appears to be a proxy war between him and the the National security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, who the new boss of defers to. Daura has allegedly refused to be subordinate to Monguno, preferring to report to Daura directly.
Reports from sources indicate that Daura had run the Agency in less than a professional manner. The new Acting DG immediately swung into action in a bid to reorganize the Agency. He constituted a committee headed by a Director from Kastina state. After the committee meeting, he began to implement some of the decisions that were reached by the committee. It is discovered that 49 vacancies involving Directors across the states, top management positions at the headquarters, were starring him in the face. It became more worrisome when it was alleged that the former Director was not inclined to fill them because of alleged ethnic bias, resulting in stagnation of some officers due for promotions. The morale of those that were so shortchanged became low, and subsequently productivity lowered. Besides, there were allegations of politicizing the Agency. He started with the disengagement of those who have reached 35 years in service, then proceeded to promote and deploy others who are due but were stagnant. The director of finance, the deputy director administration and a director from Kano were retained at top management positions.
Based on the committee recommendations, which showed that there was no Director from the South West but three from South-south, he re-deployed director to the headquarters so that the South West would have representation. State directors in Borno, Cross River, Kaduna and Oyo were sent on terminal leave by Mr Seiyefa, preparartory for their retirement.
These changes did not seem to go down well with the Secretary to the government, Abba Kyari, who was said to have summoned the new DSS boss, instructing him to stay action on the reforms and promotions, and to reverse the ones already perfected. But it was said that Seiyefa has stuck to his guns, insisting that he only reports to Monguno, and that the Agency must be returned to the path of professionalism under him. Rumors indicate that Kyarri was piqued because the changes may jeopardize the 2019 elections, which the DSS is an arrowhead for the execution in favor of the ruling party.
The issue has generated so much rancor that some officers may have made up their mind to leave the agency if things degenerate further.
Meanwhile, it appears that the Presidency may have made up his mind on Daura’s recall. It is said that a serving Minister with force background is being tipped to replace Seiyefa who is billed to retire before the end of the year-that is, if he is not sacked before then. Meanwhile, a group comprising the South –south, South east, Middle belt and south west has condemned the antics of those pressurizing him to reverse his decisions, warning that this will be the last straw. In a statement signed by Yinka Odumakin, South-West; Senator Bassey Henshaw, South-South;Prof Chigozie Ogbu, South-East, and Dr Isuwa Dogo, Middle Belt, the forum decried the“clannishness, sectional proclivity and exclusive handling of the security architecture of the country by President Buhari in the last three years.”
The report reads in part,“The acting DG reportedly noticed that there were three other Directors from the South-South apart from himself and decided to relieve two of them so that a director could be brought in from the South-West that had nobody on the management and another person from the North-West. “A top Presidency official is said to have given instructions that the D-G should ask all the newly promoted to go back to their previous positions, a directive that ought to have come from the National Security Adviser, if there was the need for any. Now the plot is to remove Seiyefa himself. “We call on President Buhari to immediately call his official in question to order so that he can withdraw the obnoxious directive and allow the agency to run professionally. “We also warn of the consequences of further alienating sections of the country by the administration, particularly the Niger Delta where the acting D-G is from and the South-West whose only representation on the management of DSS has now been reversed. “It may be necessary not to overstretch it by removing the Acting DG and stopping the professional reorganization in the DSS because it is not in tandem with the ethnic domination script of Mr President. It may turn out the proverbial last straw.”