The director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Musa Daura is in the eye of the storm. Who wouldn’t be, considering the hard stand of the organisation he leads on some key national issues? Like him or hate him, the truth is that Nigeria as it is today requires a highly disciplined and courageous officer of Daura’s type. PEMBI DAVID-STEPHEN writes.
From the very beginning, his name has been synonymous with controversy. He was recalled from retirement to head DSS which decision itself was seen as controversial. He is from Daura as President Muhammadu Buhari, which needless to say, was also controversial. At different times, some people, especially opposition politicians, have dubbed him a card carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Part (APC) in their quest to pass him on as executing APC’s agenda.
But not many have doubted his competence. Indeed, if many have the to choose their neighbours, they would certainly ask for Lawal Musa Daura for his decency, efficiency, fearlessness and fairness not only in the discharge of his duties, but also in his inter-personal relationship. The DSS boss is a firm believer in the rights and protection of the ordinary Nigerians and the fact that none should be above the law, no matter their place in the society. Herein lies his place in the minds of some citizens.
As head of the DSS, Daura, 63, gathers the raw materials of integrity, puts them in the room of honour, reliability, dependability and shapes them into a product that leaves a positive imprint on the nation. It is his high discipline, efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of his duties that everyone in the country can truly appreciate. He surrounds himself with people who share the values and work ethic necessary to maintain that standard which is now being celebrated nationwide as simply decent.
Well-meaning Nigerians expect a lot from the DSS and other security and law enforcement agencies of government and not many have so far been disappointed with the courage exhibited by the DSS in the discharge of its assignments. Today’s DSS under Daura insists that the rule of law should not apply to a few.
Daura’s work ethic, attention to details and commitment to state security, justice and fairness, have made some consider him ‘rigid’, but as a security operative, he knows that it takes all of these to be in the line of duty.
Daura has never hidden his wish to make the DSS corruption-free, vibrant and free of illegal practices. He is against any idea or decision that will spoil or corrupt the DSS. If everyone can understand the need for a straightforward DSS, then its glory can be restored, made stronger and sustained.
Daura is a pillar today but he traces it to his humble beginning. He is a native of Daura – a town in Katsina State that exemplifies perseverance, courage and hope while maintaining its own unique style and rhythm. Daura displays all those qualities. During this time of security challenge and opportunity, he is no doubt what our nation needs as head of the DSS.
Daura is tireless in the performance of his duties. He believes that a good security operative should be firm, decisive and thorough and watch over the country and the people round the clock with a sense of pride.
His regard for integrity is legendary. As deputy director Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre at the Presidential Villa Abuja between 2003 and 2007, he gave his all and even now as director-general, Daura is not looking back in his determination to turn the DSS into one agency where corner-cutters are not allowed. He brings to the DSS an honest grin, a disarming condour and lots of experience.
Daura has paid his dues. He was director of the agency in Kano, Sokoto, Edo, Lagos, Osun and Imo states and many who came in contact with him never faulted his sense of judgment. He has helped in sanitising the DSS and projected the cause of workers. Bonded by laws and necessity, restricted by space and vows, Daura, like any great security operative the world over, is guided by orders and customs. With endurance and perseverance, he has the traditional life of good security personnel.
On the whole, his character is, in its mass, excellent, and it may truly be said that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man, a peaceful life. Daura embodies the very elevation of forthrightness as an end in and of itself, requiring no further pursuit or interpretation to validate it.