By Soni Daniel
ABUJA—No fewer than ten ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet risk open revolt from their security aides, following refusal to pay their stipends almost a year after being deployed to work with them.
The DSS and police operatives were deployed to secure the ministers as soon as they were sworn into office on November 11, 2015.
Under the civil service regulation currently in operation, the DSS and Police aides attached to the ministers and other top government functionaries are entitled to be paid cash in lieu of their first 28 days in hotel and inconvenience allowances, based on their grade levels for every trip they make with the ministers.
However, Vanguard learned that the affected ministers have refused to pay the DSS and Police officers the stipulated allowance, using their civilian aides, most of whom are their siblings, to draw the allowances for themselves.
Vanguard learned that although the security operatives drawn from the Department of State Service, DSS, and the Nigeria Police Force provide 24- hour security around the affected ministers, most of them have used their personal assistants to divert the money meant for the security men who draw their pay from their parent organisations.
Some of the aggrieved security men told Vanguard correspondent in Abuja that they were no longer ready to keep quiet over their fate in the hands of the affected ministers.
One of the DSS official said: “We have to take up this matter with the Presidency so that Nigerians will know what some of these ministers are doing to the people who give them 24-hour protection.
“Our own minister has been denying Police and DSS details attached to him their duty tour allowances, DTA, and other financial entitlements such as first 28 days hotel allowances since November 2015 with impunity, contrary to the Public Service Rules and the anti-corruption posture of President Muhammad Buhari administration.
“Some of the ministers use their personal assistants to sign and collect to themselves the Duty Tour Allowances, DTA of their Police and DSS Details for every journey they make, leaving them to operate like slaves despite the sensitive and dangerous nature of their work.’’
Another officer attached to a minister, lamented: “The welfare condition of the Police and DSS operatives attached to my minister is nothing to write home about, given that they are subjected to work under sub-human and hostile environment and are always threatened with punitive actions whenever they ask for their legitimate entitlements.
“Our welfare condition is worrisome, given the status and position of our ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under a government that preaches anti-corruption and change.
‘’We want Mr. President to know what we are passing through in the hands of some of his ministers before it is too late.”