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By Chinwe Maduagwu
The former Director General of the State Security Service, Lawal Musa Daura, must be wondering what hit him. Had a seer told him that he would be disgraced out of office in the manner he was removed, he would have locked him or her up and thrown the keys into the ocean.
But as a popular saying goes, “every day is for the thief, one day is for the owner,” his cup was full on Tuesday when his boys, in their best tradition in recent times, laid siege to the National Assembly complex preventing lawmakers, staff, journalists and others from gaining entry into the complex.
Although no reason was given for the Tuesday siege which was a national embarrassment, it was one oddity too many, prompting the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to order his sack with immediate effect.
Almost immediately, Daura was replaced with the next most senior officer, Matthew Benabafa Seiyefa.
Until his appointment as the Acting Director General, Seiyefa was the director in charge of the training school of the SSS, Institute of Security Studies (ISS).
Daura’s appointment in 2015 was greeted with opposition by Nigerians who had condemned the fact that President Buhari had to bring him out of retirement to take up the post. Nigerians had also opposed his appointment because he was Buhari’s kinsman, being a native of Daura in Katsina State.
Again, Nigerians rejected his appointment, accusing him of being an agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC), having served on its security committee during the last elections.
For one whose appointment aroused so much bad blood and dissension, one would have expected that he would devote himself to his constituency’s primary assignment which is intelligence gathering. But no, he turned the DSS into a personal attack dog, hounding perceived enemies of his employer, the President.
The mission of the SSS is “to protect and defend the Federal Republic of Nigeria against domestic threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of Nigeria, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to both federal and state law-enforcement organs.”
It is also the responsibility of the SSS to protect the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, State Governors among others.
Nowhere is it stated that the mandate of the SSS included gate keeping. So, how it became their responsibility in recent times to barricade some of those it is supposed to protect either from leaving their homes or gaining entry into their offices remains one big conundrum.
Indeed, Daura is a man whose tenure as head of the DSS was mired in controversy. Sometime last year, he was involved in a scandal over the recruitment of about 479 officers into the Service out of which 51 came from his home state, in flagrant violation of the federal character policy guiding appointments and recruitment into federal agencies and organisations.
It was also alleged that he was building a multi-billion naira Training School for DSS cited, of course, in his state of origin.
In 2017 also, the DSS Director General was in the eye of the storm when he allegedly ordered the arrest of a retired senior official of the SSS, Abba Kaka Mohammed, who was detained by the service for close to two months without trial.
Mr. Mohammed’s arrest and detention was said to be in connection with his alleged ties with Ibrahim Magu.
An anonymous quote says, “Character is made by many acts; it may be lost by a single act.” That is of course referring to good character since many acts can also make a bad character. There is also another quote that says “The circumstances amid which you live determine your reputation; the truth you believe determines your character.” Daura, by virtue of many of his actions and conducts, has shown himself to be a man whose character is questionable.
Could the actions of men of the DSS on Tuesday have been said to be pure and right? Could Daura be said to have upheld the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by his actions in the recent past?
Obviously, the acting President found the answer to these questions to be no, hence his order for Daura’s immediate sack from office and promise to discipline others found to be culpable in the embarrassing incident.
Lawal Musa Daura, was born on August 5, 1953, in Daura, a town in Katsina State. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the Ahmadu Bello University in 1980. He also passed through the Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria.
Daura joined the State Security Services in 1982 and rose to the position of Director. He served as State Director of the SSS at different times in Sokoto, Edo, Kano, Lagos, and Imo State. He was also at one point the Deputy Director, Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre at the Presidential Villa between 2003 and 2007.
In 2015, Mr. Daura was called back from retirement by President Buhari to become the Director General of the States Security Services, a position he held until his sack on Tuesday, August 7, 2018.
• Source: The Next Edition.