There is growing concern over the alleged militarisation of the Presidency and State House at the expense of other security agencies, especially the Department of Security Services (DSS), which is said to be creating tension.
Already, there is an unhealthy rivalry between over 200 military officers and personnel drafted into the Aso Rock Villa for the security of President Muhammadu Buhari on the one hand and over 250 men of the DSS who have been in charge of such security details since the nascent democratic dispensation.
According to a source, the ensuing cold war has resulted to threats and harassment of the men of the State Security Services (SSS) who have resisted any move to strip them of their duties.
“There is now struggle and threats in the Villa as the current people in the Villa (SSS) are being harassed and shoved aside,” the source alleged.
The source explained that legally and since the inception of democratic dispensation in 1999, DSS has been in charge of security of the Presidency, State House and other important visiting dignitaries, with the assistance of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
The source said: “With the on-going arrangement, are we not violating the Section 315 Subsection 5 together with Section 9 subsection 2 of the Constitution, which deals with the National Security Act and as well as the required procedure for altering constitutional provision? This placed the security of the Villa and the President to the DSS, DIA, NIA and NPF and when you put all this together it is being coordinated by the SSS. That is why they are allowed to carry guns.
“The fear now with what is going on and many are asking is that are we having an Abacha strike Squad with the introduction of over 200 military officers and men, side by side with over 250 SSS? Who has the constitutional power to effect the latest arrangement? Is it President Buhari or is it Dambazzau, Jibrin or Abubakar?”
However, sources within the military have debunked these claims as baseless, insisting that even though the arrangement for State Security, especially around the Villa and the Presidency has been anchored by the DSS since 1999 such matters are not constitutional.
It could be recalled after the death of Gen. Sani Abacha, when Major Hamza Al-Mustapha Strike Force reigned supreme, the subsequent civilian administrations have opted to a more civil-oriented security arrangement around the corridors of Aso Villa.
However, one of the senior military officers who spoke to THISDAY on the condition of anonymity clarified that apart from the fact that it was the Brigade of Guards that secures the Presidency, his personal security and that of the Villa is within the discretion of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“You see, for the fact that this has been the arrangement since 1999 because Nigerians were against and afraid of anything military, does not make it constitutional. Such things are discretional and do you know that the President can even go outside the existing arrangement to provide his own personal security from outside the country,” the officer explained.
Also responding, the former President, West African Bar Association, Femi Falana, said he cannot speak on the matter for now until the President moves into the Villa next week.
“We have to wait until the President moves in because as I can understand the Villa is still under renovation. It is until then that I will speak on the matter,” he said.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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