Abdulrahman Mani, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Muhammadu Buhari has revoked the directive by the president’s Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the President, Lt.-Col. Lawal Abubakar preventing Department of State Services (DSS) operatives from giving the president close protection.
According to Punch, Mani had in a memo issued on Friday, June 26, 2015 countered Abubakar, stating that DSS officials should disregard the ADC directives as it was a misrepresentation of the president’s order.
While quoting relevant sections of the constitution which empowers the DSS to carry out such security functions, Mani who copied the National Security Adviser; the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of DSS said the various security agencies at the Villa would be educated in the coming days on what their responsibilities were.
The memo read in part: : “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.
“Meanwhile, joint training programmes and other incentives will be worked out in the days ahead to ensure that all security personnel at the Presidential Villa are properly educated to understand their statutory roles and responsibilities.
“This is with a view to avoiding obvious grandstanding, overzealousness, limited knowledge or outright display of ignorance in future.”
A source at the Villa enthused that the CSO’s directive was yet to be implemented because as at Sunday, June 28, 2015, the soldiers manning various sections of the Presidential Villa were still seen at their beats.
The source also said that a top DSS official was to blame for the face-off between both security agencies after he barred soldiers from the residence reception.
His action warranted the soldiers to report to the ADC, who was said to have taken the case to the president.
He said: “Before that incident, the soldiers have been cooperative and well-behaved. The situation we find ourselves is painful but it is also avoidable,”