By Yinka Odumakin
LAWAL Musa Daura, a native of Daura in Katsina State is the current Director General of the Directorate of State Security Serrvice, DSS, an organisation he had retired from before President Muhammadu Buhari who is also from Daura recalled him in 2015.
His appointment was greeted with loud murmurings not only because he is a kinsman of the President but because he was also accused of being an operative of the All Progressives Congress, APC, having served on its security committee during the last elections.
But the unofficial spokesman of the administration on sensitive issues, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) defended the action saying the President was right in appointing him as the agency had become polarised under former President Goodluck Jonathan. He told the Online publication Premium Times “The SSS under former President Goodluck Jonathan had become an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. You can remember when they invaded the APC office in Lagos claiming that the party was cloning voters’ cards.
“Nigerians also saw how their spokesperson, Marylyn Ogar, became an attack dog for the PDP and went after leaders of the APC. Therefore, it is difficult for Buhari to trust them.”
An erroneous appointment
The legal icon insisted that the President was only exercising caution in dealing with members of the SSS because of the unfriendly way they treated him in the past. But a civil society group by the name Intersociety did not agree with the constitutional lawyer.
A statement issued by the group on August 5, 2015 said inter alia “Therefore, bringing him back from statutory retirement and making him “acting Director General” of SSS, is coupist and unconstitutional. Also, Mr. President erred in law and grossly violated the 1999 Constitution by erroneously appointing Mr. Daura as “acting DG of SSS” or in acting capacity. In line with the provisions of the Constitution, the Deputy Director General of the Service should have been appointed in that capacity pending the appointment of the substantive appointment. Again, by public provision of concrete evidence by some political groups, including PDP linking Mr. Daura to partisanship (appointed by Buhari and APC into 2015 APC election security and intelligence committee); the principles of neutrality, independence, impartiality and non partisanship enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, have been murderously breached.”
Almost two years in office, Prof. Sagay should be having some serious dialogue with his conscience given what Mr. Daura is doing with the agency and the reasons he backed his appointment.
All decent people in Nigeria when Premium Times broke the news about the scandal that engulfed the recent recruitment of 479 officers by the DSS with his Katsina State having 51, more than 10 per cent in a country of 36 states.The figure allocated to Katsina is just six less than what the entire south west received and nine higher than what went to the entire South East. The report further stated: “The anomaly in the exercise is further evident in the disparity between intakes from the two most populous states in Nigeria, Kano and Lagos, which have 25 and seven, respectively, indicating that the size of the pool of applicants from each state was not a factor in the recruitment.”
“A breakdown of the newly commissioned cadet officers on geo-political basis revealed that 165 are from the North-west, about four times as many as those who were picked from the South-south (42).
Violation of Constitution: The figures for the other other zones are North-east, 100; North-central, 66; South-west, 57; and South-east, 44. This means that while 331 of the newly commissioned officers are from the 19 northern states and the FCT, less than half of the total intakes were from states in the southern part of Nigeria.”
This is a violent violation of the Federal Character principle which has been enshrined in every constitution of Nigeria since the country’s independence.
Section 14, subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria states that: “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such manner to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or sectional groups in that government or any of its agencies”.
Interestingly, President Muhammadu Buhari recently appointed Mohammed Bello Tukur, the Legal Adviser of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, as the Secretary of the Federal Character Commission.
While the country was aghast about this insensitive exercise, the Presidency decided to pour gasoline on a burning cauldron when an unnamed official issued a silly statement to justify the unjustifiable. The statement is not worth quoting as it rankles the Nigerian presidency that would defend such insensitivity as a balancing act for what happened in the past.
While we are yet to be briefed about what happened in the past, it is pertinent to ask if this using Nigerian presidency for ethnic score setting is consistent with “I belong to everyone ” declaration of May 29, 2015?
By the way, Daura is also alleged to be building a multi-billion naira Training School for the DSS and the only place he could get land in Nigeria was his State of origin-Katsina!
In an April 8,2015 article in the New York Times titled “Can Nigeria former dictator become a democrat?” Max Siollun concluded with a powerful line “Nigeria today needs a reconstructive surgeon, not a bulldozer.”
Yes reconstructive surgery we need not this hegemonic bulldozing !