By Olusola Sanni:
• Yar’Adua’s loyalists pledge support to Jonathan
• Gusau becomes government’s rallying point
Barring any sudden change of mind, the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, is set to dispense with the services of key security chiefs in the country.
Among those to be affected in the massive change of the headship of security agencies in the country are the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo; the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Abdulrahman Danbazau; the Director, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Emmanuel Imohe; and the Director General, Department of State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Afakriya Gadzama.
The SSS and the NIA are respectively responsible for domestic intelligence, and foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence operations.
The replacement of the security chiefs, the Nigerian Compass gathered, is part of the total overhaul of the country’s security apparatus.
Sources hinted that the restructuring is the brainchild of the newly-appointed National Security Adviser (NSA), General Aliyu Gusau.
Jonathan, on Monday, appointed Gusau to replace the former NSA, General Sarki Muktar.
There have been concerns in the Presidency before and after President Umaru Yar’Adua’s trip to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment over the role played by Muktar in the scheme of things.
Muktar was said to have been part of the plot to keep Jonathan away from performing the functions of the president in the absence of Yar’Adua.
The Nigerian Compass on Sunday had exclusively reported on January 24, 2010 that Muktar, based on what a Presidency source tagged fake security report, told Jonathan not to attend this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
According to the report presented by Muktar to Jonathan, the acting president was to be eliminated by some soldiers who were not pleased with him at the venue of the January 16, 2010 function.
Jonathan, according to the report, defied the warning and attended the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
Precautions were, however, taken to protect Jonathan.
Such precautions included the wearing of a bullet-proof vest by Jonathan and increasing his security details.
The Nigerian Compass also learnt that the restructuring of the nation’s security apparatus is as result of the deployment of troops on the eve of the arrival of Yar’Adua from Saudi Arabia in, without the authorisation of Jonathan, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Our source said that the developments “are feared to be serious security breaches and those were the real reasons Jonathan appointed Gusau to help him overhaul the security system of the nation.”
The Office of the NSA co-ordinates the activities of all security agencies in the country.
Sources told the Nigerian Compass that the mandate Jonathan gave Gusau was to “reform the security environment to reflect the new order.”
It was gathered that Gusau held a meeting with all the security chiefs on Friday.
Though it was a secret meeting, sources said that Gusau told the security chiefs that it was the dawn of a new day and that no untoward conduct would be condoned again.
Sources said that already, all the security chiefs had started deferring to Gusau on virtually all issues concerning their operations, giving him minute by minute briefing.
The Nigerian Compass has also reliably gathered that many of the members of Yar’Adua’s kitchen cabinet have started pledging their loyalty to Jonathan.
They reportedly did this when they paid courtesy visits to Gusau, who was mandated to deliver the message to Jonathan.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Adamu Aleiro, who is believed to be one of Yar’Adua’s core loyalists, was sighted at Gusau’s Abuja residence late in the night on Wednesday.
The Nigerian Compass could, however, not establish the purpose of the visit.
Also, several ministers, state governors and National Assembly members have also started paying regular visits to Gusau.
A source said, “Gusau is Joanthan’s master’s stroke to deal with any recalcitrant cabal member within or outside government.
“All the ministers, including those in the Yar’Adua kitchen cabinet are now down with the reality that there is a new order.
“They have all been paying visits to Gusau as a mark of loyalty to the Acting President.
“The last among them to visit the new NSA is the FCT minister.
“He was with Gusau late Wednesday night obviously to show solidarity.”
Gusau was a former NSA to former President Olusegun Obasanjo before he resigned in 2007 to contest the presidential election.
He is believed to have a strong tab on the nation’s security community and has an extensive contact with other global security agencies.
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