By Uche Mbah
The siege on National Assembly, which has come to epitomize the height of national embarrassment, is the story of a script gone awry. Lawan Daura, until recently the boss at the Directorate of State Security, DSS, was in the eye of the storm. And he has paid dearly for it.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that, in the days preceding the siege, a group of masked men came to Akpo quarters in a van. They were suspected to be on a mission. They arrived the house of a senator belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who is said to be close to the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, (names withheld). Dazed by the sudden appearance of the hooded men, he stood aside and watched while the masked men jumped down and started offloading bags of money and carting them into his house. It dawned on him that this is a case of mistaken house. And it turn out to be so. His next door neighbor is a die hard Buharist, and is at the forefront of the Saraki must go campaign. It was later gathered that it was part of the money that was meant to “negotiate” with opposition and All Progressives Congress, APC senators to convince them of the necessity of impeaching Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, Senate President and Deputy senate President respectively. The APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, described by an opposition senator as a pint-sized man with a giant ego, had met with the DSS boss to finalize the arrangement that was broached before president Buhari traveled. Part of the agenda, it was alleged, was the arrest of both principal officers of the Senate, use the DSS to harass and prevent PDP members from entering the senate chambers, and admit APC members into the hallowed chambers to carry out their impeachment. But it was not to be.
The Senator watched as the bags of money was being loaded into his house. Having finished offloading, they jumped into their van and zoomed off.
The Senator immediately swung into action. He evacuated his family from the house, , and promptly contacted the senate president. then he went underground. Two hours later, the same hooded men allegedly arrived his house a second time, breaking down his house and turning it upside down.
The senate president had previously scheduled to meet the officials of both the red and green chambers on Tuesday, 7th August, 2018. It was later gathered that the plan was hatched for that day. Saraki was said to have put a call across to his loyalists telling them of the danger ahead. Then he went underground with his deputy. They were said to be monitoring the scenario through the Social media.
Early on that morning, PDP senators, Journalists and staff of the national Assembly arrived at the NASS gate. Masked men barricaded the gate and prevented entry to senators, Honorable members, journalists and staff of the Assembly. When confronted, they claimed to be acting on orders from above. It was at this point that a member of the House of representatives from Bayesa state, Boma Goodhead, confronted the masked men demanding to be let in. “If Jonathan had behaved like this will Buhari have been president?”, she queried, daring the masked men to shoot her. When she was told that the order was from above she queried who the above was. “Is it Osinbajo? Is that one a Christian? He has sold his soul to the devil”, she cried. A bystander retorted:”He is not a Christian, he is a Pastor”. She later forced herself in, signalling the effective end of the siege. Every one was allowed in, with the exception of Journalists. She was said to be a sister to Asari Dokubo, the Niger delta Militant.
Meanwhile, as prearranged, APC senators were converging at legacy house. Allegations were that they were there to finalize alternative plans for impeachments. News began to filter in that the APC chairman was allegedly coercing people to sign for the impeachment. It was said that the plan was to enthrone Godswill Akpabio as the new Senate president, which was the carrot offered to him apart from the EFCC stick. Out of anger, he left them , claiming, according to sources, that they made him believe they have the number to impeach the Senate leadership. Apparently, there were said to be about thirty senators at the Legacy house. They needed to get 73 senators, which is two-thirds of the the total number of senators. Unconfirmed reports indicated that Oshiomhole allegedly was forcing senators to sign through financial inducement. Some who were allegedly paid money had themselves videoed as a check on reneging. In fact, a senator from Sokoto state was said to be shown such a video when he wanted to renege on his position, because he wanted to decamp to PDP. Now he is stuck. One senator from Sokoto, senator Dambaba, has already decamped.
While the siege which lasted for seven hours continued, PDP bigwigs were busy detailing foreign envoys of what is happening. “We are watching the developments”, was the reply from the British High Commission. This magazine was informed that they were both in contact with President Buhari who is holidaying in London and Osinbajo the Acting president. Both the United states and Britain were said to have registered their displeasure at the siege to Osinbajo. Osinbajo was said to have summoned the DSS boss, Lawan Dawra, He was said to have snubbed the acting president. Osinbajo, according to reports, complained that even when he is embarrassing and ridiculing the country, he is still acting out the script of gross insubordination. According to reports, he was then given the go ahead to act as he deemed fit. He now summoned him again with the Inspector general of Police, Abubakar Idris Kpotum. Idris arrived earlier, and was briefed by the Vice president, who also briefed his media Aid. When Daura came, after a brief discussion where he was alleged to have protested that only Buhari can sack him, he was led away through another door by a contingent of SARS officers into detention. While this was going on, Osinbajo’s media aid, Laolu Akande, broke the news of his sack.
Idris later claimed that the Police was not part of the siege.
Immediately he was sacked, there was wild jubilation at the DSS office. This was a shocking surprise. It tends to show how unpopular he had become. There was also the surprise that he was sacked in the first place. It appears that only the international community can force Buhari to sack his Aids. In the case of Babachir Lawal, he refused to sack him after he embezzled money meant for the internally Displaced camps, IDPs, donated by international donor agencies. He was sacked only because the Agencies threatened to stop donating to Nigeria if he was not sacked.
News soon filtered out that Daura has been sacked, and the hooded men quietly withdrew from the siege.
Meanwhile, the siege went viral on Social Media and many people trooped to the NASS gate, singing solidarity songs. The NASS members later held a caucus meeting. Later in the evening, Senate President Saraki suddenly appeared at the Scene and cancelled the planned meeting with INEC and others in connection with the fund demanded by INEC to procure the 2019 election, citing recent happenings. As at press time, Saraki is Billed to Address the press on the siege.
In all these, no word from the National leader of APC, Bola Tinubu. In fact, the wife conveniently boycotted the whole shenanigan. Tinubu and his wife were at a Redeemed Christian Church retreat, where his wife, Oluremi, was ordained a Pastor by Enoch Adeboye as the Siege was going on.
The bid by the APC to remove Saraki for the past three years has cost the country in financial terms and man hours.
With the fall of Lawan Daura, the Daura Dynasty has been effectively evicted from Aso Rock. His father has recently been evicted from Aso Rock allegedly by the wife of the President. He was immediately replaced by the next in command, Matthew Seiyefa. Seiyefa, who hails from Bayelsa state, until his appointment as the acting DG, was Director of Training. He held a closed door meeting with Osinbajo, and swiftly followed by the EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu, who also held meetings with the Acting President.
One by one the members of the cabal are falling. First it was Babachir, then Mamman Daura, and now Lawan Daura.Who is next? Time shall tell.