A government is an organised system by which a state is run. Every element in the system of government is expected to work in unison towards the common good.
Given that the operators of the institution of government are human, it is not unexpected that frictions could sometimes arise to hamper the delivery of good governance. However, recent developments suggesting conflict in the nation’s security architecture are worrisome.
Whereas stories of lower rank officers in the armed services, the police and other paramilitary services engaging one another in physical combats have been severally reported in the past, the acrimonious interrelationship was not so evident among senior officers and sister institutions even when they did exist. Possible inter-agency frictions were well-managed.
However, this seems to have changed. From the onset of the present administration, the security services have exhibited open rivalry among themselves. In the process, they have drawn unpalatable attention to themselves as if working at cross purposes.
It started in the first days of the administration when agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the military police in the Presidential Villa were engaged in a dangerous face-off with weapons reportedly drawn. That led to the expulsion of the former as the main bodyguards of the President.
Following that were the shocking reports of the DSS authoring conflicting and seemingly ambiguous confidential reports on Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The DSS in one report to the Senate seemed to indict Magu.President Muhammadu Buhari, after listening to the opinions of a section of the legal community, decided to keep Magu on the job.
The same kind of sloppiness seems to have been replayed in the ongoing face-off between the EFCC and the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, over the discovery of a large amount of cash estimated at N13 billion in an apartment in Lagos. President Buhari set up the three-man Vice President Yemi Osinbajo panel to look into the mystery.
However, reports that the NIA leadership tried but failed to dissuade the EFCC leadership from conducting a search of the “safe house” have also emerged.
We are fully in support of the Buhari regime’s anti-graft war. However, when such operations are carried out with cameras and the media, it brings to question the original intentions of the EFCC operatives. What is the idea of staging a “sting” operation on a sister agency? Perhaps the Osinbajo panel will tell Nigerians more about it.
We call on the Office of the National Security Adviser to rise to the occasion and ensure inter-agency harmony and cooperation and guarantee the maximum protection of the government and people of Nigeria.