When news of Lawal Daura’s sack as Director General of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) broke, many Nigerians were happy at the quick action taken against an offence and offender whose inordinate action, if unpunished, would have brought untold shame to the country, mocking of our Democracy. In a country where national and political events have come to resemble a circus something had to be done quickly to stop Daura’s madness.
His prompt removal received national and international approval because no one is above the law, even if some Nigerians think and act otherwise. Daura’s boldfaced attempt to overthrow the National Assembly in a movie-style siege is unconstitutional and would have been similarly frowned upon and punished in any Democracy.
Therefore, the swift and stern judgement passed on Daura’s excesses by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, is appropriate and welcome. It can even be said that it restored faith in a country where many have lost hope due to rising poverty, insecurity and perceived Government’s ineptitude and recklessness.
We must recall that on August 7, 2018, security operatives under Daura’s instruction laid siege on the National Assembly in broad daylight, even as Senators who had scheduled a meeting were arriving for it. Law makers who came were denied entry into the house by masked gunmen.
Subsequently, the Presidency reacted and fired Daura, directing him to hand over to the most senior officer of the state security service until further notice. The nation stood up and clapped for the Vice President for demonstrating there is a Government in place and that all had not turned to chaos.
Since Daura’s removal, though, people have wondered whether the Vice President acted alone in sacking him or if he did so with the consent of the President. Being a kinsman of President Buhari, from Daura, Katsina State, there is no doubt that the “chief spy” of the DSS would have been an important member of the president’s kitchen cabinet or the cabal Mrs Buhari bewailed sometime. Even so, no one would expect a Government that rode to power on “change,” one supposedly cleaning up the mess made by its predecessor, fighting corruption and also asking for re-election next year to tolerate Daura’s affront on democracy.
Let us also recall that the President was recently criticised for saying that rule of law is subordinate to national security. We also disagree with President Buhari and remind him that Nigeria is a democracy not a dictatorship. We note also that Daura’s action contravenes both national security and rule of law from whichever angle it is viewed.
That is why Daura deserves his punishment. That is also why we consider his rumoured return to the DSS or elsewhere in the Buhari Government, a national shame!
If it is true, then the Buhari Government should consider itself Nigeria’s greatest undoing as it clearly places personal interest above rule of law, even national security. Bringing back Daura will also undermine Vice President Osinbajo and belittle his office. We, therefore, hope that Daura’s removal is final and that his rumoured return is untrue as all fake news.
We are concerned about alleged plans by top presidency officials to sack the acting DSS DG Mathew Seiyefa. The red flag raised by Afenifere, Ohaneze, Middle Belt Forum and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) cannot be ignored, since the President’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, has reportedly reversed all new appointments made by the Seiyefa. We hope this is not a ploy to undermine Seiyefa and smuggle Daura back into DSS. We keep our fingers crossed.
We had hoped Seiyefa’s new position will be confirmed by Mr President, but by the sound of it, this might not be so. However, let’s believe that President Buhari knows what is best for Nigeria at this moment and that he will act in the interest of the nation and not to suit his personal agenda.