It was predictable, that there will be a storm. There had been prior warnings from youths from the restive south-south region but last night, ahead of crucial elections next year, president Muhammadu Buhari put all that aside and appointed a new Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS).
He is Yusuf Magaji Bichi. Bichi’s appointment takes effect from today as he 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 had been relieved of his position by the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo after he launched an illegal invasion of the National Assembly by hooded operatives of the secret police in a stunning disregard for law.
Expectedly, the appointment of Bichi has drawn criticism, with Southern and Middle Belt leaders alleging that Buhari’s outright disregard for a united country has taken on a new dimension.
In a show of unity, leading southern and middle belt voices spoke via a statement signed by Chief E.K. Clark (South South), Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South West), Chief John Nwodo (South East) and Dr Bitrus Pogu (Middle Belt), saying, “the I-don’t-care attitude of the president on Nigeria’s 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.”
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.”
A statement by Buhariís 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.