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Buhari replaces soldiers with DSS operatives as his bodyguards

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Buhari replaces soldiers with DSS operatives as his bodyguards

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the removal of officers and men of the Nigerian Army and replaced them with officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) as his body guards, according to reports.

The president reportedly gave the order before he embarked on his trip to the United Kingdom for vacation and medical checkup.

When Pres. Buhari came into power in 2015, he withdrew DSS operatives as his bodyguards at the peak of an interagency rivalry. The former Chief Security Officer (CSO), Abdulraman Mani, and the Aide de Camp (ADC) to the President, Colonel Lawal Abubakar, had different opinions on who should be guarding Buhari. Mani wanted the DSS to do the job while Abubakar wanted the Army.

Due to Pres. Buhari’s distrust of the DSS he inherited, he went with the Army.

The power battle led to the firing of Mani from his role.

It is believed that the removal of the soldiers this time followed series of complaints from the current CSO, Bashir Abubakar who has not been comfortable with the arrangement of having soldiers as first security aides of the Commander-in-Chief.

Buhari on assumption of duty on 29 May, 2015, dislodged the DSS as first ring security around him and replaced them with soldiers.

According to the source, “protection of the president by body guards is actually the work of the DSS but Mr. President did not have confidence in the service because of the way they treated him during the campaigns.

“The soldiers were moved into the inner circle of the security network while DSS operated at the periphery. This has not gone down well with both services. Mr. President was convinced to reverse this order,” he said.

As at the time of filing in this report, officials of the DSS had taken positions previously manned by the soldiers.

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