President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the expulsion of Department of State Services (DSS) officials attached the Presidential Villa, Abuja from the premises.
Punch reports that the DSS officials, who belong to the Body Guard Unit, who had been working at the Villa since the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan were on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 ordered by a security aide of President Buhari to leave the premises.
It would be recalled that there were reports that President Buhari plans to replace the DSS security detail at the Presidential Villa with members of the Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps.
It was further gathered that a directive had been handed down stating that the DSS operatives should be denied access to the premises.
READ ALSO: Buhari Rejects 252 Secret Service Officials Assigned To Aso Rock (DETAILS)One of the affected DSS officials who spoke on the oath of secrecy said his was shocked about the development but would resume his beat at the Villa on Thursday, June 25, 2015 unless a contrary directive was issued from their headquarters.
He said: “We were asked to leave the premises or risk arrest. As I am talking to you now, some of us are gathering under the trees while some others have left.
“It is surprising but we have no choice than to resume here again tomorrow (today) and see what will happen.”
Another DSS official, who spoke on telephone said: “The only reason why we may not come here is if we receive any other directive from our headquarters.”
In a swift reaction the presidency has denied the expulsion of the officers, stating that what was going on was a routine reorganization of security at the villa.
Speaking on behalf of the presidency was the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who was quoted as saying: “Rumours that personnel of the State Security Service have been expelled from the Presidential Villa are unfounded.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has given no such order. While it is true that a reorganization of security at the Presidential Villa which involves the realignment of personnel from various services is underway, the exercise does not translate to the expulsion of DSS personnel from the premises in any way.
“The changes being made are routine adjustments which are not unexpected in any dynamic environment from time to time.”