AS the nation awaits appointment of his men, four weeks after assuming office, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Lawal Musa Daura as the new Director General, Department of State Security Service (SSS).
He replaces Ita Ekpenyong who was reappointed for another term in 2014.
The appointment was announced yesterday in a letter by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi.
This development came yesterday in the absence of a Secretary to the Government of the Federation who normally announces presidential appointments. The Head of Service deals with civil servants not public servants.
According to the statement, Daura, who is returning to the SSS from retirement, was born in Daura on August 5, 1953. He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1977 – 1980 and started his carrier in the SSS in 1982 and rose to the rank of director.
He was at one time the Deputy Director, Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre at the Presidential Villa, Abuja between 2003 and 2007.
He also served as the State Director of Security Service at various times in Kano, Sokoto, Edo, Lagos, Osun and Imo states.
He attended various professional courses both home and abroad including the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.
Daura’s appointment is with immediate effect.
Sources said that Ekpenyong was removed for his perceived bias and obvious support to the former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Ekpeyong was first appointed DG on September 2010 following the dismissal of Afakriya Gadzama by Jonathan and had his tenure renewed for another four years in September 2014.
This is in line with “Instrument no. SSS 1 of the NSA Decree of 1986, Cap 278 of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (LFN) Schedule 4 subsection 2, which talks about the appointment and tenure of the Director General State Security”, as confirmed by the spokesperson of the Service, Marilyn Ogar, who said the renewal followed Ekpeyong’s “superb” performance.
Recall that before the elections the now Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai had tweeted that Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser and Ekpenyong were the two biggest threats to national security. He tweeted “ALERT: From all information available, NSA Sambo Dasuki and DG SSS Ita Ekpenyong are the biggest threats to our national security and integrity.”
This was more or less due to the alleged partisanship exhibited by the operatives of the SSS especially towards the 2015 general elections, where several raids were carried out, arrests made and allegations made but none of which was substantiated by the security agency.
Though Ogar has not answered calls put to her for further clarifications, Ekpeyong’s removal is with immediate effect.
Ekpeyong is succeeded by Daura as the sixth DG of the SSS.
Ekpeyong was born in Cross River State, and before being appointed SSS Director General, he was Acting National Director (Operations) of the SSS, it is believed that he managed intelligence successfully during the 2007 governorship election in Anambra State, where he was the State Director and this was said to have influenced the then President Jonathan’s decision to appoint him as the Director General.