By Hamisu Aliyu
An absurd piece written by one Salihu Usman with the title, ‘Lawal Musa Daura and his many Controversies’ can best be described as a comic fantasy, capable of evoking laughter at the same time that it causes pulsation of the heart.
The writer elevated the subject matter of the piece, Lawal Musa Daura, to the status of a superhuman, attributing to him some impossible powers in a trajectory of contradiction.
Daura is a former Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Nigeria. He was removed from the position in 2018, under circumstances that are still very unclear, by the then acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, when President Buhari was away on medical grounds.
Of the many conjectures that trailed his removal then, none touched on his integrity, capacity or professionalism. Even though the man has kept mute ever since, in the characteristic manner of his ilk, there are still the unresolved questions about attempts by some people in government to undermine President Buhari in his absence, which Daura was said to be stoutly averse to. The whole truth about the issues that revolved around his removal may have to wait till all the actors are ready to talk.
However, some Nigerians have continued to ascribe to him the power to control the DSS even from the outside, to the extent that the current leadership of the security outfit is feeling so threatened and unsecured.
For instance, in February 2019, about six months after Daura’s removal, the new leadership needed to tell Nigerians that the ex-DG was no longer controlling its affairs and that “any person or group that further engages him or his representatives/associates does so at their own peril.” It was the height of insecurity on the part of the current leadership.
How does a former DG, who has no access to the state apparatus or security clearance, control a whole DSS from the outside? Practically impossible. It was the sort of thrash that serious-minded security chiefs would simply ignore.
Not the type to loiter around the corridor of power in the vain hope of gaining favour, Daura has left everything related to his former position behind him. Of course, he is ever-willing to serve his country in any capacity he is called upon to, but he does not stoop to the level of interfering in matters that do not concern him.
It is therefore untrue that he was courting the attention of politicians, as he does not assert any influence on government actions and policies. Also, as a trained security person, he knows the procedures to take to see the president of the country.
It is ignorance on the part of the writer to believe that the president could be seen at will without prior notice, without appointment and without schedule. This is such a common knowledge that every sensible person knows.
It is also unbelievable, the type of powers that the writer thinks Daura possesses, to make him think any single individual has the capacity to win a presidential election for any politician. Obviously, Lawal Daura lacks that power, and has never pretended to possess same. At no time did he lay claim to the ability to make or mar any presidential election.
The modesty of Lawal Daura has kept him within his limit as soon as he left office. He is never known to leave beyond his means, nor does he belong to the extravagant types.
It is equally dumb imagination for the writer, to believe that Lawal Daura can and will shield anyone from the law. How on earth does a former DSS chief shield a Central Bank of Nigeria Governor from arrest, if the authorities have a cause to arrest him? It was an indirect way to say that the DSS does not know its coin; a really damaging attestation to docility of the Service. This is nothing but the show of incompetence, inferiority complex and a demonstration of the basic feeling of inadequacy, or administrative deficiency, on the part of the present DSS leadership.
According to sources close to Daura, he has met with the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami only once since he left office, and it was a chance meeting on a flight. Ditto for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who the sources said, he met at a function.
If that is the case, how does he collaborate with people he does not relate with to shield the CBN Governor?
A more realistic look at all the issues raised by the writer will reveal that he is acting as a parrot for some hidden masters, who fed him with information he either lacks the capacity to process, or he is just out rightly unintelligent.
The Lawal Musa Daura that Nigerians know is an astute man, consummately Nigerian, patriotic, loyal to the Nigerian cause and austere. He has served Nigeria to the best of his ability and has remained willing to serve in any capacity he is called upon to still serve.
He does not possess any super-human power to be everywhere and be involved in everything at all times. He does not influence those in power, nor does he undermine them. He does not feel threatened by anyone, because he has maintained a clean sheet, nor does he threaten anyone.
Salihu Usman’s piece is an antithesis of the real Lawal Daura. It is vacuous, a result of awful imagination and, without doubt, simple-minded.
Those who have made it a duty to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari by conjuring all sorts of fantasy stories about the people they think are close to him need to desist. They have been doing the same thing for almost eight years without success.