SMBLF cautions against plot to remove of Seiyefa

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*Seiyefa

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has raised an alarm about a plot by some loyalist of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the acting director general of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Matthew Seiyefa.

Seiyefa became acting director general of the service on August 7, 2018 following the sack of the substantive director general Mr. Lawal Daura, after DSS operatives had laid siege to the assembly.

Since his appointment, Seiyefa has reorganised the service by making some transfers, elevating those who had been due for promotion, appointing a spokesman for the agency and re-establishing a public relations department which was disbanded by Daura when he forcefully retired its erstwhile spokeswoman, Ms. Marilyn Ogar.

It was gathered that the president’s loyalists, in concert with the cabal in the presidency, are not comfortable with the reforms and want Seiyefa out by all means.

Punch reports that members of the cabal, which is allegedly headed by the chief of staff to the president, Mr. Abba Kyari, have remained unrelenting in their determination to have a say in who heads the agency.

It said the acting director general had been asked by Kyari to also reverse all the appointments he made when he assumed office.

“Since the appointment of the acting DG, there have been serious gang-up against him by the cabal in the Villa.

“The chief of staff has ordered the Acting DG to reverse all the appointments, warning him to stop further postings.

“The most unfortunate, ugly and unethical development that occurred was the instruction by the Chief of Staff to the President to the DG to bring the lists of all the postings and appointments he has done since his assumption of duty. It is causing serious rumbles in the office now.

“Some officers have been grumbling over interference by politicians in the workings of the agency,” said a source.”

Those that Seiyefa was directed to bring back to the headquarters are the agency’s former director of operations, Mr. Bassey Eteng.

Eteng was recently transferred to the Institute of Security Studies, Bwari, Abuja, where the director general once served as the director before he was appointed to take over from Daura.

Also, another Director, Grace Kentebe, who was transferred out of the headquarters of the agency, had been asked to be returned to the DSS headquarters.

It was learnt that also gathered that the cabal had considered some persons as possible successor to Seiyefa.

They are a retired DSS officer and one time acting executive secretary of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTF), Alhaji A. Kabir, and the current minister of interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.) who was sacked by former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for his ignoble role he (Dambazzau) played in the deployment of troops and the smuggling of the then President, Umaru Yar’Adua from overseas before he eventually died.

It was also learnt that Eteng is also being considered, in case there were complaints against appointing another northerner for the sensitive position.

It was gathered that both Kyari and Abubakar were playing a vital role in the conspiracy to either bring back Daura or get a suitable replacement.

But the SMBLF in a statement by their spokesmen, Mr. Yinka Odumakin (South-West), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South-East) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), warned against surreptitious plan by a cabal in the presidency to remove Seiyefa.

“The attention of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has been drawn to a clandestine plot to remove the Acting Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) from office by a cabal in the Buhari presidency.

“We ordinarily would have ignored this report but for the clannishness, sectional proclivity and exclusive handling of the security architecture of the country by President Buhari in the last three years.

“He had defied all protestations from all well-meaning Nigerians in making appointments into all key and sensitive security positions in sectional and kith and kin affairs in a very insensitive and you-can-do-your-worse-manner that until the recent sack of Daura, 16 out of 17 service chiefs were from his corner of the country.

“It is equally not lost on us that since the president returned from his holidays in London he has not made a comment on the invasion of the National Assembly by the DSS in his absence which led to the acting president rightly removing the former director general, Lawal Daura, confirming speculation that he is not happy with the removal.

“The plot to remove the acting director general is said to be hinged on the professional reorganisation of the service by him which the cabal is now interpreting as removing APC elements in DSS for PDP apologists, a clear indication of the divisions this administration has caused in every facet of our life as a nation.

“Facts at our disposal, however, show that what the Acting DG has done is a good example of how to run a diverse polity which this administration has ignored in the last three years.

“It was said that under Daura, every need to organise the service along federal character and fill existing vacancies were ignored as he concentrated on nepotism in running DSS and keeping a coterie of those who have retired or have passed retirement in service and many of them having nothing to contribute. The service rule says such people can only be taken on contract if they have special skills.

The acting director general reportedly noticed that there were three other directors from the South-South apart from himself and decided to relieve two of them so that a director could be brought in from the South-West that had nobody on the management and another person from the North-West.

“There were about 40 senior officers who were due for retirement or pre-retirement leave whom he had found competent replacement for in a fair manner and according to the service rules.

“The chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari, is said to have given instructions that the DG should ask all the newly promoted to go back to their previous positions, a directive that ought to have come from the National Security Adviser if there was the need for any. Now the plot is to remove Seiyefa himself.

“All these confirm the politicisation of a purely security outfit and the denigration of all institutions by an administration that has shown scant regard for due process.

“We call on President Buhari to immediately call his Chief of Staff to order so that he can withdraw the obnoxious directive and allow the agency to run professionally.

“We also warn of the consequences of further alienating sections of the country by the administration particularly the Niger Delta where the Acting DG is from and the South West whose only representation on the management of DSS has now been reversed.

“The rest of the country has lived with the insensitivity of Mr. President in handling the security architecture in the last three years with equanimity. It may be necessary not to overstretch it by removing the Acting DG and stopping the professional reorganisation in the DSS because it is not in tandem with the ethnic domination script of Mr. President. It may turn out the proverbial last straw,” said the Forum.

 

 

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