Olalekan Adetayo and Adelani Adepegba
Apparently still not sure of the shape security around President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will take in the coming days, authorities of the Presidential Villa, Abuja have rejected about 253 officials of the Department of State Services recently transferred to the Presidential Villa.
Investigations by one of our correspondents on Wednesday revealed that the affected security operatives were deployed from different state commands of the DSS across the country.
According to their redeployment signals that emanated from the service’s National Headquarters, the officers were directed to report at the Presidential Villa last week Monday.
The PUNCH further learnt that the officials, armed with signals showing specifically where they would man in the Presidential Villa, were however turned back on arrival.
They were said to have been directed to ensure that they return to their respective former duty posts across the country the following day (last week Tuesday).
One of the affected officials, who was transferred from one of the states in the South-West, told one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity that all of them were left to their fate without any transfer allowance.
He said, “The about 253 of us were redeployed from commands from across the country to the State House, Abuja. Our signals, which were sent from the headquarters, showed specifically where we are expected to work in the Presidential Villa.
“Some of us were asked to report to the Vice President’s office, some were attached to the President’s wife while some others were attached to the Vice President’s wife among other beats in the Villa.
“We were however turned back and were asked to resume back at our former duty posts the following day or risk sanction.”
The source said while their deployment to the Presidential Villa was conveyed through signals, no other signal was issued when they were directed to return to base.
He said among the 253 of them, only one official was asked by the headquarters to return to the Villa.
The only official was said to be the security orderly of one of the service’s senior officials in Abuja before he was transferred.
The source added that although no official reason was given for their rejection, they were told unofficially that the decision was necessary because Buhari and Osinbajo had yet to move into the Villa.
He also said another reason adduced was the issue of some officials of the Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps who were recently moved into the State House and could be taking up the responsibilities of the DSS officials.
When contacted, the DSS Deputy Director, Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, said she could not comment on the issue.
“I don’t have such information and I cannot comment on it please,” she stated.
Another security source confirmed to our correspondent that 253 officials deployed from across the country were truly directed to return to their commands.
He however said, to the best of his knowledge, the affected officials were initially directed to report to the headquarters and not the State House directly.
The source who was affected however insisted that his own signal indicated where exactly he should report to inside the Presidential Villa and not the service’s headquarters.
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