Molly Kilete, Abuja
Retired military and police top brass have commended the sack of former Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Lawal Daura, over the invasion of the National Assembly, early Tuesday morning.
The retired officers who spoke to Daily Sun, in Abuja, were also of the opinion that the former DSS boss, might not have acted on his own after all.
They also said that Lawal’s sack might not be unconnected with the pressure from the international community mounted on the Nigerian government over the incessant harassment and invasion of people perceived to be in the opposition by the Police and security agencies in the recent past.
Some of the retired generals, however, would not want to be mentioned in the interview.
One the retired officers Col. Yomi Dare, described the sack as ‘good for our democracy’.
Col. Dare, who condemned the invasion of the national Assembly said, “First and foremost, I want to look at the survival of our democracy. I don’t think the way the National Assembly was invaded this morning was good and I think this move by the acting president is a good one in the right direction because it kind of reinforce the integrity of this administration which was like going down.
“I think we have a tight security infrastructure, he has been asked to hand over to the next most senior person and that is good.
On the activities of DSS, Col. Dare, said “I wouldn’t want to call their activities as excesses even though there were excesses because everything bothers on leadership and like we say in the military there are no bad soldiers but bad officers.
“So if you take care of the head, every other thing will fall into shape.
“On the invasion of the National Assembly I will say it is a term, but whatever they went to do there I think is not legal. So, for me, I don’t think it is acceptable and I don’t think it is good for our democracy at all”.
A retired General who prefered to be anonymous said “this is complete rubbish. This is complete madness because I don’t really understand the situation.
“The other day people were criticising the administration for sending 30,000 police to Ekiti State alone for the elections at a time when we have the kind of debacle we have in the North East.
“How can you commit that kind of large number for a security apparatus that is already stressed? How can you?
“I don’t understand what the game plan was, it is only those involved would know better. But if you ask me, I will tell you that is nothing but foolishness”.
“If the government is saying they don’t have a hand in it, well…
“The fundamental issue for me really is that as Nigerians, we must get to a point, where we must all fight for preservation of the professional integrity of the security forces because that is the real danger.
“I find it extremely humiliating that a General or a Colonel, a military officer or a military commander can no longer execute his professional duties in the country constitutionally because of political considerations and that is the real issue that we need to address.
“The next system must commit itself to proper security sector reform.
“It should not be possible for one man to just use the security institution as he pleases.
“The discretion available to heads of security agencies is too much.
“The system will train somebody for years and one man will just wake up and say you are retired.
“The latitude given to individuals, weather at the level of the President, at the level of the Service Chiefs and in our system is too large.
We have to find a way to moderate it without obstructing the need for effective command because when the person in charge is a good person, there might not be an issue, but if a very mischievous person gets there…
Another Army General who also does not want to be mentioned said, “There is nothing about the invasion that is good. Our superior officers have said it and we don’t have anything different from their views.
“It is bad. It is unprofessional particularly when we have a General like us managing the situation.
“Those who are superiors who can talk are already talking and I don’t think any other General would volunteer to say anything different”
“Look at the situation with Ekwerenmdu, he was invited by the EFCC and DSS went to cordon his house to take him to EFCC. What is their business there?
“This is a democracy and even the one they did this morning (Tuesday) is it not the police that should do it if at all there is any job to be done at the National Assembly.
“Is it robbery that is happening at the assembly that they invaded the place when they are not SARS.
“If it’s about robbery, they should be on the highway.
“It is wrong and even the General himself knows it’s wrong but because he is in hostage otherwise he should have done the job that the acting president is doing but he is afraid he can’t do it because those are the people who took him hostage in the first place.
“He cannot raise a finger against any of them. He brought them to work for him and they have become more powerful than him.”
“If the VP says he is not aware and he did not authorize him then who authorized him? Oshiomole? Or who else”.