Why Buhari Cannot Be Condemned For Appointing His Kinsman As SSS DG – Lawyer
A foremost constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Itse Sagay, has said it was difficult to condemn President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing his kinsman as DG SSS.
President Buhari had yesterday sacked the former Director of the security agency, Ita Ekpenyong and replaced him with his kinsman, Lawal Daura, who retired from the service in 2013.
The appointment of Daura, who himself is from Daura in Katsina state just like the president had drawn criticisms from various quarter, but Mr. Sagay says the president cannot be condemned fir the appointment.
According to Mr. Sagay, the secret police under former President Goodluck Joanthan had become too political and polarised that it was hard for Mr. Buhari to work with them.
“The SSS under former President Goodluck Jonathan had become an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party. 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.”
The legal luminary insisted that the President is only exercising caution in dealing with members of the SSS because of the unfriendly way they treated him in the past.
He expressed sympathy for the President but noted that he would rise to condemn him if the appointment of other key officials of the administration followed a similar pattern.
Recall that the presidency had earlier ordered the SSS to stay away from the close protection of the president inside the presidential villa, a role now being handled by the military and the police.
This may not be unconnected with the loss of confidence on the SSS particularly with the role it played in the last government.
The SSS under its former Director General Ita Ekpeyong, became openly partisan, especially in the run-up to the 2015 general elections.
Rather than gathering intelligence necessary to make the country safe, the agency busied itself more with harassing and arresting opposition figures, ransacking firms and offices with ties to the All Progressives Congress and appearing on television to disparage opposition politicians and their party.