The invasion of the National Assembly on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) threw Nigeria into national and international embarrassment but the urgent intervention of then Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, redeemed the leadership credential of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was on vacation in London, the United Kingdom. The spontaneous sack of the SSS Director General, Lawal Daura, by the Acting President immediately ended the siege on the SSS National Assembly.
A Presidency source revealed to National Daily that the remote force that led to Daura’s immediate sack was his failure to recognize and respect the delegated executive powers to Acting President Osinbajo while President Buhari was on vacation.
The source narrated that Osinbajo had worked late on Monday into the early hours of Tuesday; and was asleep while his telephone rang at about 7.00am, to acquaint him of the invasion of the National Assembly by the SSS, telling him the invasion is on several television stations. The then Acting President switched on the television to watch the reports of the invasion of the federal legislature, after which he invited the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and SSS DG, Daura, for an urgent meeting.
On arrival at eh State House, Acting President Osinbajo first inquired from the Police IG what is happening at the National Assembly who responded that the Police are not involved in the operations. Turning to the SSS DG, Daura admitted that they are in it. Asking why such operation without authority from the Presidency, the SSS DG was alleged to have told the Acting President – I don’t take directives from you. Asking who he takes directives from the SSS DG was alleged to have said he takes instructions from the commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces (C-In-C).
Then the Acting President notified him that in his capacity then, he represented the C-In-C with full executive powers. While still sitting in the Presidential Office, the sack letter was prepared and given to the former SSS DG. On his way out of the Office, the IG of Police was directed to effect his arrest and interrogations.
Thereafter, Osinbajo called President Buhari in London, informing him of the national embarrassment the invasion of the National Assembly caused the country, and on invitation, the SSS DG undermined his authority as Acting President and said he only takes instruction from the C-In-C. President Buhari, according to our source asked – what did you do; and the Acting President responded that he sacked him. Then, President Buhari okayed the action, assuring him that he would never support any act of insubordination or lawlessness. He declared his support for Osinbajo.
It was also disclosed that the SSS operatives had warned that such operations at the National Assembly cannot be carried out in broad day light, protesting that they would be covered by several national and foreign television stations and other media platforms, and the faces of the operatives would be shown to the whole world. They were then, ordered to wear mask to cover their faces in the operations.
The invasion was also revealed to be in compliance with the desperation by APC leaders to impeach the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar bukola Saraki, before the President returns from vacation. However, the Presidency was said to be vehemently opposed to any form of unconstitutional action in governance.
Several northern leaders and principal officers in the Presidency were said to have called President Buhari immediately to report Osinbajo to him on the sack of Daura, appealing for reversal of the action but the President directed them to go to Osinbajo. President Buhari was said to have insisted on referring all callers requesting reversal of the sack of the SSS DG to Osinbajo, telling them that he was on vacation and someone was in charge in of the federal government.
On return from vacation, President Buhari aligned with Osinbajo, supporting the appointment of the Acting Director General, Mr. Mathew Seiyefa, whose appointment would soon be confirmed.