Recently, while surfing the net, I stumbled on a worrisome report in pointblanknews.com titled “Crack in the Presidency: Abba Kyari wants NSA, SGF, EFCC Chairman sacked, Angry with Tinubu.’’ Truth be told, my initial reaction to the report was to completely ignore it considering the propensity or worse still, notoriety of social media in Nigeria for peddling falsehood in the garb of truth.
But after waiting for a rebuttal from the office of Chief of Staff (COS) to the President that he was probably quoted out of context to no avail I am constrained to respond to it, at least to set the records straight. If that report is true, then the COS in advocating for the sack of these eminent Nigerians, especially the SGF, Babachir David Lawal, ostensibly for “leaking sensitive Government information to enemies of the Government, undermining security activities and posing as a serious danger to the survival of the President Buhari’s Government,’’ went beyond his brief.
With all due respect to the occupant of that office, the position of Chief of Staff either to the president, State Governor or Local Government Chairman is a constitutional aberration. In a nutshell, it is not known to the nation’s grundnorm.
However, unlike the office of the COS, the Office to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the organogram of government is hugely recognized by the constitution.
It would be recalled that before the advent of the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency, the office of SGF and Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOSF) was one single monolithic entity, which made it unwieldy and seemingly un-coordinated with huge operational difficulties. This had a cataclysmic effect on governance. Apparently determined to bring sanity into governance, Obasanjo in line with the reform agenda of his administration, split the office into two—OSGF and HOSF with the former headed by an appointee of the president, while the latter is headed by a career civil servant. This development has quickened the tempo of productivity of both offices.
It is indeed a sad development that with the advent of the present democratic dispensation in 1999, political office holders in order to create jobs for the boys, elected to create the office of Chief of Staff, and even went to the ridiculous extent of empowering them so much so that, occupants of those offices at all tiers of government, begin to see themselves the second in command to their bosses, thereby relegating the deputies and other constitutionally-recognized officials of government to the background. If this situation is not arrested on time, Nigerians will one day wake up to be confronted with a constitutional logjam, which will be difficult to manage. Tufiakwa!!!
Since President Buhari appointed Babachir David Lawal into this sensitive position, those that do not wish him well in life–call them enemies if you like—have been bellyaching and desperately looking for an opportunity to do him evil. Because the SGF, in line with the change mantra of his principal, has said no to the putrefying business-as-usual way of conducting the business of governance, these buccaneers that profited immensely from the immediate past era want him barbecued. And for emphatically saying enough to the culture of impunity that hitherto prevailed in the business of governance, Babachir Lawal must be roasted alive. But in the midst of all these, he has soldiered on unperturbed in discharging the huge responsibilities of his high profile office with utmost intrepidity.
So, those accusing him of leaking sensitive government information to the enemies of the Buhari Administration are simply cooking up stories with a view to driving a wedge of distrust between the president and his fiercely loyal SGF. How on earth would anyone contemplate the stupid idea that the SGF, who occupies a central position in this government, would betray the trust and confidence reposed in him by his boss? In fact, it doesn’t just add up.
According to the report, Kyari has usurped some functions of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the SGF considered ‘’very sensitive’’ on the spurious excuse that those occupying the positions, are not trustworthy within the presidency. This is highly objectionable and a complete affirmation of the popular saying that, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Considering his closeness to the president spanning several decades, Babachir David Lawal would be last person to work against this government. So, for anybody to accuse the SGF of being a mole in this administration is tantamount to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. That spurious allegation is without basis and simply smacks of vendetta. It is lie from the pit of hell.
It is trite to say that, since the emergence of the Buhari Presidency, the SGF has virtually been at the thick of the battle to ensure that the change mantra of the government is accorded a huge reception by millions of Nigerians. Even in the sensitive area of security architecture, he has been up and doing to ensure that, the nation’s security agencies discharge their constitutional roles with equanimity.
Like I have always maintained, anybody plotting against this innocent, hard-working and humble man with a sizeable proportion of God’s grace, will hit the brick wall. Babachir Lawal has demonstrated more than anybody in this government a genuine sincerity of purpose, loyalty and above all, patriotism and deserves commendation and not condemnation. From all intents and purposes, juxtaposing his rich pedigree with this embarrassing allegation of disloyalty, is the unkindest cut of all.
My candid advice to President Muhammadu Buhari is to discountenance any ill-motivated advice to remove the SGF, because doing so will be tantamount to bringing the image of the government into a huge disrepute, which consequences this government will find extremely difficult to effectively handle. Those plying their campaign of calumny, should leave the SGF alone, because he has paid his dues as far as devotion to duty and loyalty to the president are concerned. I rest my case.
– Salaudeen currently resides in Wuro Hausa ward, Yola