In a bid to hit the ground running, President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari has tipped a one-time Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Abdulrahaman Danbazzau (rtd.) as the National Security Adviser in the in-coming administration.
THE NEW DIPLOMAT gathered that though there are three possible candidates for the post of NSA including a retired Inspector-General of Police and a director of the defunct National Security Organisation (NSO), who is also a retired General, the President-elect is said to prefer Danbazzau as NSA.
General Danbazzau, who is currently the director in charge of the directorate of security in the Buhari Organisation served as the Chief of Army Staff during the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Said a source, “The position of the NSA is a very vital and key position and the President-elect is determined to ensure that he puts the best hands on the job. In fact, most of the key positions will be manned by professionals, not core politicians. Very key positions will be manned by highly competent experts and technocrats.
“Buhari is also keen on running very lean cabinet. I am sure that he may not have more than one minister per state. Of all those being mentioned for the position of NSA, General Buhari has expressed his preference for Danbazzau.
“The only person who could have dislodged Danbazzau is the pioneer director-general of NSO, General Abdullahi Mohammed from Kwara State but I understand that he may have expressed the wish that he wanted to enjoy his retirement as an elder statesman,” the source said.
General Mohammed whose name came up also served as military governor during the Murtala/Obasanjo regime between 1975-1979 and he later served as chief of staff to President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
THE NEW DIPLOMATS learnt that within the first two weeks of his being sworn in as president , General Buhari plans to name his cabinet and forward same to the National Assembly for clearance.