By Ikpechukwu Ojobor & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
ENUGU—PROFESSOR of Political Science and Director, Institute of American Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof Jonah Onuoha, has said that the sack of the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mr Lawal Daura by the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo was a sign that the nation was heading towards democratic consolidation.
This is as International Society for the Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intetsociety has described the former DSS boss’ sack as a good step in the right direction.
Prof Onuoha who was reacting to Tuesday’s siege on the national assembly by armed operatives of the DSS said the action of the Acting President was a sign that the Buhari administration was not as authoritarian as people assumed.
“I’m happy about the role the Ag President played by addressing the situation and punishing those involved. What he did is a first step. Recall that he was not just dismissed, he was detained and other subsequent actions may still take place.
“It shows that the executive did not send him; that he acted beyond his powers. It shows that the executive may not be as authoritarian as people think. It also shows that Nigeria is already on its way to democratic consolidation,” he said.
He further condemned the action of the security operatives, stating that it violated the principle of separation of powers and further potrayed the government in bad light.
“What happened at the national assembly complex should be condemned by every democrat. There is no way the security agencies can on their own mobilize to block the access of law makers to the national assembly.
“It violates the issue of separation of powers. It appears as if the executive is becoming more authoritarian,” he noted.
Prof Onuoha, however dismissed insinuations that President Buhari was weak and leaves hard decisions for his vice to take, saying that nobody can intimidate the President.
Good step in right direction —Intersociety
Reacting to the development yesterday, the International Society for the Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, described the sack of Daura by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, as “the fall of humanity crime suspect number two.”
Intersociety in a statement by it’s board chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi; head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Program, Obianuju IIgboeli, said “the sack of the DSS boss by Buhari was the sack of humanity crime suspect number one.”
According to Intersociety, “the sack of Daura is a step taken in the right direction and must be commended by well-meaning Nigerians.”
According to Intersociety, “it will be recalled that Daura was unethically recalled from his service retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari on 2nd July 2015 and appointed the new DG of DSS against the civil service rules of the federation.
“Before his unethical appointment, he was a top official and card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and head of its intelligence prior to 2015 general elections and since his appointment, he has remained so till date.
“Lawal Musa Daura had served in the DSS and retired in 2013 as a director, after attaining the mandatory age of 60, from where he was recalled unethically and made DG of DSS on 2nd July 2015.
“As heads of Nigeria’s overt and covert police formations, the duo of retired immediate past IGP Arase and Daura, brazenly refused and failed to use or deploy non-lethal crowd control or policing techniques and gadgets in the management of democratic expressions in Nigeria particularly the pro Biafra street protest and Heroes Day of December 2nd 2015 and 30th May 2015.
“Under Daura as Nigeria’s DG of DSS, hell has been let loose. Liberties have been chained and impaired and rule of law turned to shreds.
“Scores of journalists including Jones Abiri of the Weekly Source Magazine (detained for nearly two years without trial) have been arrested, tortured and held in permanent captivity of DSS without court trial and conviction. The likes of Bright Chimezie Isinwa of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, was also abducted by DSS under Daura and held incommunico.”