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Outrage as tribalistic Buhari removes DSS chief from the south

• President replaces Seiyefa with Bichi

• Southern, Middle Belt leaders protest

A new Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) was named yesterday. He is Yusuf Magaji Bichi. Bichi’s appointment takes effect from today (Friday) September 14, 2018. The new DSS boss takes over from Matthew Seiyefa, who was appointed in an acting capacity on August 7, 2018, following the sacking of the former boss, Lawal Musa Daura.

Daura himself was relieved of his position by the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo after he approved an illegal invasion of the National Assembly by hooded operatives of the secret police.The appointment of Bichi has, however, drawn criticism, with Southern and Middle Belt leaders saying Buhari­s outright disregard for a united country has taken on a new dimension.

In a statement by Chief E.K. Clark (South South), Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South West), Chief John Nwodo (South East) and Dr Bitrus Pogu (Middle Belt), the group said the I-don’t-care attitude of the president on Nigeria­s security architecture, where 16 out of 17 service chiefs are from his corner of the country, is unfortunate. Since 1960, Nigeria has never had a leader more sectional, narrow, parochial and tribalistic like the current president who went on a global stage to divide Nigeria into 97 per cent and 5 per cent.

We have looked critically at the profiles of the acting DG who was removed and the one Buhari just appointed and it is crystal clear that Bichi does not come with any experience close to that of Seiyefa. The only qualification for this appointment is therefore only the rabid nepotism of the president, which has seen him always masking personal and sectional interest as «national interest.

Besides, Bichi is an out-of-the-system man drafted by Mr. Lawan Daura in the days of his nepotistic rule at the DSS. The next six most senior persons in line of succession at the DSS after Seiyefa, from our findings, are all southerners, which may explain why the president picked a man who had already retired from the DSS to lead because of ethnic affinity. That the president went ahead to dip himself further in the cocoon of ethnic irredentism in making this insensitive appointment shows clearly that he does not care a hoot about the unity, cohesion and oneness of Nigeria.

We reject this appointment and we do not shy in telling Mr. President that he no longer pretends that the country is one under him. In the last few days, there have been fears coming from the international community about the dangers that would come the way of Nigeria if Mr. President returns for another term. With his latest action, we add that the country is not safe in the remainder of his first term. Lastly, we ask Mr. President, are we still one county?

Also, the Ijaw National Congress and the Ijaw Youth Council accused Buhari of nepotism. INC former president, Prof. Kimse Okoko, said the replacement of Seyeifa with a northerner did not really come to him as a surprise because Buhari is an ethnic and religious bigot. And he has demonstrated it over and over again. And I have no reason to believe that man can change his true colour. I have given up on him quite frankly. If he wants to divide the country and create unnecessary division, good luck to him.

The IYC president, Eric Omare, accused the president of contravening the provisions of the constitution, saying: It is an act of nepotism to appoint another northerner to occupy that position. All the security heads are from the north. This appointment was influenced by primordial and ethnic considerations. There are a lot of people from the southern part of the country who can occupy that office. Seiyefa, who hails from Bayelsa State, was before his appointment the most senior director in the DSS. He was also the Director, Institute of Security Studies, Abuja. With about 34 years of experience, Seiyefa has served in different capacities, including State Director in Osun, Akwa Ibom, and Lagos States. He is also a member of the National Institute. He was due to retire from service in July 2019.

A statement by Buhari­s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, last night, said the new appointee is a core secret service operative.He attended Danbatta Secondary School, the Kano State College of Advanced Studies and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he graduated with a degree in political science.

The new director general began his career in the security division of the Cabinet Office in Kano, from where he joined the defunct Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO), the precursor of the present DSS. Bichi has undergone training in intelligence processing analysis, agent handling recruitment and intelligence processing in the U.K., as well as strategic training at the National Defence College.

The new DSS boss comes to the job with skills in intelligence gathering, research analysis, conflict management, general investigation, risk and vulnerability operations, counter intelligence and protective operation and human resources management. Bichi has worked as State Director of Security in Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto and Abia States.

He was at various times the Director, National Assembly Liaison, (National War College), Director at National Headquarters in the Directorate of Security Enforcement, Directorate of Operations, Directorate of Intelligence, Directorate of Inspection and Directorate of Administration and Finance. He also served as Director at the State Service Academy.

-Punch

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