A civil society group, Justice For All, JUFALL, has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari administration on the alleged move by the cabal in the presidency to replicate the scenario that played out in the appointment of the current Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar. The convener of the group, Barrister Nathaniel Sess, gave the warning in a press conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Saturday.
The group said that the warning was necessary following the news that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo seem to be having a running battle with the cabal in the Villa after dismissing the Director General of the Department of State Service, DSS, Lawal Daura. According to JUFALL, the cabal are hell-bent on bringing back Daura, or in the alternative appoint his replacement with one of the two candidates from the North East and North West geopolitical zones.
Barrister Sese claimed that credible sources revealed to the group that two people have been pencilled down, and they are both from the North. The group claimed that Daura replacements are being pushed by two prominent individuals in government. JUFALL further advised the Vice President to vehemently maintain his position on this matter and not to succumb to pressure by the silent war orchestrated by the so-called cabal surrounding the President. “It is now very clear to everyone in the Aso Rock Villa that there is a raging silent war going on between the VP and the Cabal on this issue,” the group claimed in a statement.
The group further applauded the Vice President for maintaining his grounds firmly by insisting that this time, the appointment must follow due process through the National Security Adviser as required by the relevant provisions of the National Security Agencies establishments Act” unlike what played out in the appointment of the current DG of the NIA, where a qualified and appropriate person was sacked and replaced in controversial way when he accused some individuals and the man who replaced him of attempts to blackmail him to handover NIA money to them.
In the light of what happened in the NIA, the group cautioned that the embarrassing situation that happened at the NIA which culminated in the illegal dismissal of erstwhile acting DG of the NIA, Ambassador Mohammed Dauda to pave way for the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar against all established rules must be avoided at all cost. The group learnt that VP wants the current Ag. DG of the DSS confirmed, or the most senior Director to take over after him, as the substantive DG as required by law. “We are pleased that as a lawyer, the vice president opposed the idea of replacing the current Ag DG with another northerner when he is amply qualified to be confirmed,” JUFALL said.
The group also observed that the morale and hopes of officers in the civil service should not be continually dampened by imposition of people from outside the hierarchy anytime there is a vacancy (as done at the NIA) emphasising that all Nigerians have the right to legitimately aspire to all deserved positions in this government of change and equal opportunity.
“JUFALL will resist any nepotic move to replace Mr. Saiyefa with any less qualified candidate,” the group noted. According to the group, it had already approached Rotimi Amaechi and Timipre Sylva, both former Governors of Rivers and Bayelsa respectively, to intervene in the matter. “Nigerians should begin to ask questions and hold their leaders accountable on sensitive issues that border on national security.
“The illegal appointment of the current NIA DG is already an embarrassment to the image of Nigeria before the international community. “The manoeuvres currently ongoing to replace the AG DG of the DSS would further worsen the already battered image of the country in terms of national security if allowed to continue unabated, the group cautioned,” the group warned.