BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Leaders of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum on Sunday warned against what it described as a “clandestine plot” aimed at removing the Acting Director General, Department of State Security (DSS), Mr Matthew Seiyefa from office by a cabal in the Buhari presidency.
The Forum specifically urged President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of national importance, call his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari to order by withdrawing the obnoxious directive and allowing the agency to run professionally.
The Southern and Middle Belt leaders also warned of the consequences of further alienating sections of the country by the administration, particularly the Niger Delta where the Acting DSS boss hails from and the South-west whose only representation on the DSS management has now been reversed.
The Forum said in a statement that the rest of the country has lived with the insensitivity of President Buhari in handling the country’s security architecture in the last three years with equanimity.
It further emphasized that 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 the President.
Accordingly, the Forum said the clannishness, sectional proclivity and exclusive handling of the nation’s security architecture by President Buhari in the last three years has raised some genuine concerns, stressing that the plot to remove Seiyefa as Acting DG may be the last straw
The statement, signed by Mr Yinka Odumakin – South-west; Senator Bassey Henshaw – South-south; Prof Chigozie Ogbu – South-east; and Dr. Isuwa Dogo – Middle Belt, noted that President Buhari had defied all protestations from well-meaning Nigerians in making appointments into all key and sensitive security positions in sectional and kiths and kins affairs in a very insensitive and you-can-do-your-worst manner, adding that until the recent sack of Lawal Daura 16 out of 17 Service Chiefs were from his corner of the country ,
The Forum further said it is equally not lost on the Sothern and Middle Belt that since President Buhari returned from his holidays in London, he has not made a comment on the invasion of the National Assembly by the DSS in his absence, which led to the Acting President rightly removing the former Lawal Daura as DG, thereby confirming speculation that he is not happy with the removal.
According to the Forum; “The plot to remove the Acting DG is said to be hinged on the professional reorganization of the service by him which the cabal is now interpreting as removing APC elements in DSS for PDP apologists, a clear indication of the divisions this administration has caused in every facet of our life as a nation.
“Facts at our disposal however show that what the Acting DG has done is a good example of how to run a diverse polity which this administration has ignored in the last three years.
“It was said that under Daura, every need to organize the service along federal character and fill existing vacancies were ignored as he concentrated on nepotism in running the DSS and keeping a coterie of those who have retired or have passed retirement in service and many of them having nothing to contribute.”
The leaders of the Forum noted that the DSS’ service rule states that such people can only be taken on contract if they have special skills.
It said the Acting DG reportedly noticed that there were three other Directors from the South-south apart from himself and decided to relieve 2 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.
According to leaders of the Forum; “There were about 40 senior officers who were due for retirement or pre-retirement leave whom he had found competent replacement for in a fair manner and according to the service rules .
“The Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari is said to have given instructions that the DG 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 (NSA) if there was the need for any. Now the plot is to remove Seiyefa himself.”
“All these confirm the politicization of a purely security outfit and the denigration of all institutions by an administration that has shown scant regard for due process”, the Forum said