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DETACHING NIGERIA’S SECURITY AGENCIES FROM POLITICS

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DETACHING NIGERIA'S SECURITY AGENCIES FROM POLITICS

Recent happenings in the country’s security sector and its impact on our democracy and governance have drawn important attention to a national urgency, which is the need to re-engineer the security architecture and completely detach it from politics.

The timely sack of the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Lawal Daura, following the unlawful and unathorised take-over of the premises of the National Assembly last week Tuesday was the zenith of a dark era in security management under the present administration. That singular act showed clearly the breath-taking extent of vulnerability of the nation’s democracy and government.

According to the police report on the development submitted to the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Daura acted without any form of presidential athorisation. Media reports of the failed democratic coup have pointed accusing fingers at the leadership of the ruling All Progressive Congress and members of the cabal in this government.

According to the report leaked to the press, the former DSS boss acted unilaterally: “That the suspect, Mr. Lawal Musa Daura, in his statement confessed and accepted to have deployed operatives of the State Security Service on a claimed intelligence report, that unathorised persons were planning to smuggle undisclosed dangerous weapons and incriminating items into the National Assembly Complex. He did not inform the Acting President neither did he share the information with the Nigerian Police Force or other sister security agencies”.

The clincher of the report is the concluding part: “It is crystal clear that the principal suspect, Lawal Musa Daura, may be acting the script of some highly placed politicians to achieve selfish political goals, hence, his unilateral and unlawful decision to invade the National Assembly Complex”, the report stated. What the police left undetermined is identity of the politicians involved, an act we think was deliberate and a hoax.

We believe strongly that the police know the identity of the “highly placed politicians” but did not want to make it public. Any police boss that cannot identify these set of politicians at the highest level of national security report should be fired immediately for lack of competence and discipline.

We believe that it was a deliberate act of omission to cover up for the same “highly placed politicians”. This government, Nigeria and her citizens might have as well been sold off for peanuts to external enemies by these set of undesirable elements while the present government keeps slumbering.

We are really very worried. Which direction is this country heading? Who is in charge of the affairs of this government and country?

The Acting President should turn his whip on the police because the recent activities of the institution regarding the security of Nigerian law makers and NASS generally, particularly the Senate is questionable. Why have the police not arrested those hoodlums that invaded the Senate during plenary and carted away the mace, the symbol of democracy?

Disbanding SARS alone cannot solve the problem of the police. It is equally futile to instruct the present IGP to maintain “strict adherence to the rule of law and with due regard to International Human Rights Law and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of suspects”, when the hoarse cry of alleged violation of the rule of law by the police under the present administration is the loudest.

There is no difference between the politicisation of the DSS and that of the police. How can the security agencies in the country be under the control of politicians and political parties and not under direct control of the president or vice president as the case may be?

The security reform should be comprehensive with emphasis on professionalism and focus on core mandate. It should probably start from the police and let it sweep through to other sister agencies, including the military. Unless this is done in a good conscience and pro-Nigerian spirit, the country as a whole may be galloping towards nuclear anarchy.

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