DSS DG Controversy: Ajulo cautions PDP

As the controversy over the Director General of the Department for State Services, Lawal Daura’s alleged membership of the All Progressives Congress rages on, an Abuja lawyer and social activist, Barr. Kayode Ajulo has weighed in on the issue, calling for caution, and for confirmation and hard evidence of the DSS boss’s alleged membership of the ruling party.

Speaking at the Abuja Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport on his returns from London, Ajulo cautioned against a hasty conclusion that the DSS boss is indeed a registered member of the ruling party as alleged by the National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.

“Beyond just hurling accusations and allegation, it is necessary to have credible evidence or proof showing that the DG- Lawal Daura, is truly registered as a member of APC. The ward register should capture such, and would be credible evidence validating Olisa Metuh’s allegation. Anything outside of this will amount to us working ourselves up in futility,” he said.

Ajulo, who is the National Secretary of the Labour Party however acknowledged that the allegation is a serious issue, emphasizing also that it calls for diligent investigation.
He said “The PDP has actually raised up a very serious issue concerning the award of appointments in this administration. This matter should neither be taken lightly nor waved aside. Every attempt to sweep it under the carpets should be resisted too. We need to know the actual truth concerning this matter.”

Ajulo however noted that if indeed the secret police boss was indeed found to be a registered member of the APC, his appointment, by President Muhammadu Buhari, to head the DSS would be indeed condemnable and anti-democratic.

“While the President reserves the right to appoint credible members of his party to political office, there are some sensitive positions that should not be politicized.

The professional sanctity of some institutions must be preserved to prevent a regression to an era of repression and political oppression using state apparatus.

“Positions such as the offices of the Service Chiefs, of Army, Navy and Airforce, Inspector-General of the Police, Director SSS, NIA, the Chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission etc should be preserved for non-partisan and credible personalities to ensure that they uphold the principle of neutrality in the execution of their duties,” he stated.

Ajulo, who is the founder and convener of Egalitarian Mission, Africa- an NGO established to maintain and promote the equality of all people regardless of status or political affiliation, stated that it would be anti-democratic of the president to appoint a member of his own party as a boss of such a sensitive institution as the DSS stating further that by the extant law that establishes office, the Department of State Security is a purely on security affairs and has nothing with politics which makes it a department in the Presidency.

“President Buhari described himself as a converted democrat during the campaigns, emphasizing how the dissolution of the USSR converted him to the belief that democracy was indeed the best form of governance. Appointing a party member as boss of Nigeria’s secret police would be an anti-democratic move, and I really hope that is not what he has done here, because this would be countering what we, at Egalitarian Mission, stand for, and we would resist it” he said.

Speaking further on the issue, Ajulo however acknowledged that working for the success of a party during polls should not be construed as proof of membership of the party.

“I am aware that there are many people who worked for the success of specific political parties during the last elections without actually being members of such parties. I know some people who worked for my party- Labour Party, others who worked for the PDP without being members of any of the two parties.

“So the logic as being drawn by the PDP which claims that Daura is a member of the APC because he served on an intelligence or security committee is actually faulty. The PDP will need to come up with better evidence than that.”