Buhari Replaces Army with DSS at Villa

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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the redeployment of officers and men of the Army serving as his bodyguards in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The soldiers were brought to the Villa in the wake of his administration. They have been replaced with officials of the Department of State Services, DSS.

It was gathered that the approval for the removal of the soldiers was given by Buhari shortly before he left for London on vacation.

Before the new order, both Abdulraman Mani, former chief security officer, CSO, and Lawal Abubakar, a colonel and president’s aide de camp, ADC, had quarrelled over which agencies should protect the president.

While Mani insisted on allowing men and officers of the DSS to protect the president, the ADC wanted the soldiers to be responsible. The fight prompted Buhari to remove the former CSO.

Mani had, in a memo dated Friday, June 26, 2015, argued: “In fact, the issues raised in the aforementioned (ADC’s) circular tend to suggest that the author may have ventured into a not-too-familiar terrain.

“The extant practice, the world over, is that VIP protection, which is a specialised field, is usually handled by the Secret Service, under whatever nomenclature.

“They usually constitute the inner core security ring around every principal. The Police and the military by training and mandate are often required to provide secondary and tertiary security cordons around venues and routes.

“However, all other security agencies, including the army, the police and others, also have their roles to play. It is on this note that heads of all security agencies currently in the Presidential Villa and their subordinates are enjoined to key into the existing command and control structure. They are to work in harmony with each other in full and strict compliance with the demands of their statutorily prescribed responsibilities.”

In line with the new order the DSS officials have taken positions previously manned by the soldiers.

— Feb 20, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT

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