Today, Daura is still being investigated, a clear case of the hunter being the hunted. Today, even his loyalty to the President and national interest is being questioned
“Even a superpower has its limits.” – Ariel Sharon
After 1,131 days in office as the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Musa Daura, was sacked last Tuesday, August 7, to the delight of many Nigerians.
He was hitherto considered as one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s henchmen. Within the period he headed the security agency, he held sway like a bull in a China shop. He flagrantly disobeyed court orders, illegally arrested and detained perceived enemies of the Federal Government and showed glaring disrespect to human rights. He never cared a hoot about the excesses of the agency under him in spite of the outcry by Nigerians over the obnoxious actions. He also appeared to be insensible and nonchalant to the negative image the activities of his agency was foisting on the Buhari administration. To the surprise of many, however, the President condoned him, giving rise to the suspicion that he was doing the bidding of his master. And in his public appearances while he remained on the job, he looked emboldened and showed enormous grit.
But on August 7, Daura shot himself in the foot by deploying his men to lay siege to the National Assembly Complex without any directive from the Presidency to that effect. He inadvertently prepared the ground for his dismissal, as the action of the DSS gave vent to the rumoured plot to illegally impeach the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over his defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Daura’s action attracted global outrage and condemnation as it made a mess of the doctrine of separation of powers and the rule of law. Thus it portrayed Nigeria’s democracy as under threat and called to question the democratic claims of President Buhari and his party, the APC.
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To douse the rising tension and save the image of the ruling party, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered Daura’s immediate sack and the police promptly arrested him and put him on house arrest. Nigerians learnt through the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Femi Adesina, that “there is unanimity on that action,” meaning that Buhari, who is on a 10-day vacation in London, gave his nod to the removal of Daura. Indeed, President Buhari was convinced that Daura’s tendencies were capable of rubbishing his democratic credentials and destroying his government. To prevent that, he quickly approved his sack.
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Today, Daura is still being investigated, a clear case of the hunter being the hunted. Today, even his loyalty to the President and national interest is being questioned in certain quarters as Nigerians and security agencies grope for the truth. But that is what usually happens when one throws caution to
the wind in the exercise of power and pursuit of ignoble goals. Daura misfired; he didn’t know when to pull the breaks. Now, he has to have a taste of what he was dishing out to others, some of who were innocent of the allegations the DSS leveled against them. It’s his turn to prove his innocence, after all the Scriptures warns in Matthew 7: 2 that “with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Truth is Nigerians are waiting for the outcome of the investigations. They treasure this democracy and, therefore, want all those linked with the incident to be brought to book. They don’t want the national attitude of ‘a child whose father is a judge doesn’t lose in court’ in this matter. Many think that the President should not shield Daura from suffering further ignominy if findings point to that.
Born on August 5, 1953, in Daura, Katsina State, Daura attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from 1977 to 1980, where he received a bachelor’s degree. He also attended various professional courses both at home and abroad, including the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS) Kuru.
He began his career in 1982 at the DSS where he rose to the position of Director. He served as State Director at various times in many states of the federation, including Kano, Sokoto, Edo, Lagos, Osun and Imo. In 2003, he was appointed as Deputy Director, Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre, at the Presidential Villa, a position he held till 2007.
Daura retired from service in 2013 having reached the statutory retirement age of 60. He served as the deputy head of security for the Buhari campaign during the 2015 presidential elections. After winning the election, Buhari recalled him from retirement and appointed him as the DG, DSS, on July 2, 2015, defying public criticisms that he was his kinsman. He served in that position until his appointment was terminated five days ago.