How Buhari’s earlier plan to sack Daura was thwarted — Presidency source


Olalekan Adetayo

President Muhammadu Buhari had planned to sack Mr. Lawal Daura as the Director-General of the Department of State Services about two weeks before he (Buhari) started his 10-working day vacation on August 3.

A top Presidency source disclosed this to some journalists on condition of anonymity on Saturday.

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had on August 7, sacked Daura in the wake of the invasion of the National Assembly by officials of the DSS.

There were claims that Buhari would not have sacked the former DSS boss if he was in the country as of the time of the incident.

But the source confirmed to journalists that Buhari was on the same page with Osinbajo on all the decisions he took while he was away on vacation.

He claimed that some unnamed persons sympathetic to Daura blocked an attempt by Buhari to sack him earlier.

He also said the President and Osinbajo had been of the view that there was the need to review the appointments of the nation’s security chiefs, including that of Daura.

The official added that Osinbajo’s recent directive to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to overhaul the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was also a joint decision with the President.

He said, “Less than two weeks before the President departed for the UK on vacation, there was a decision already reached to replace the former Director-General of the DSS, who was later fired by the Acting President.

“The decision however did not see the light of day when some influential backers of the sacked DG rallied together to frustrate the plan.

“But unknown to many of the backers, both the President and his deputy had always discussed the need to review the appointments of some of the security chiefs including the sacked DG.

“Even regarding the overhaul of the SARS, which the Acting President announced recently, the matter had featured prominently in regular interactions of both the President and the VP and also interactions by both of them with the Inspector-General of Police.”

The source also said the Thursday decision of the National Economic Council to set up a committee to work with the IGP and find ways to decentralise police operations was a reflection of discussions and plans that both the President and the Vice-President have had over a number of times previously.

“It is really pointless to try to attribute some of these decisions in a manner that suggests that maybe the President would not have taken them or that it was just one arm of the Presidency responsible for them.

“The President and his deputy are far much closer than any other set of leaders the country has produced at least since 1999 if not even beyond.

“It is therefore mischievous for some people to be comparing the two leaders. Truth is that the President and his VP act in concert and credit ought to be given to the President who has ensured over and again that the VP is a major power broker in the Presidency.

“There is hardly a move the VP would make without first securing the blessing of the President and both of them have developed mutual trust and confidence in each other and this is beneficial for the country,” the Presidency official added.

He said although the President was on vacation, he and Osinbajo were in contact by telephone to discuss important state issues and compare notes.

In all their interactions, the source said the President had always encouraged Osinbajo to do the needful and take charge effectively.

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