Apparently not ready to tread on war path with the Presidency, the acting Director General of the Department of State Services, Matthew Seiyefa, has bowed to the directive of the Presidency to stop the reorganization of key staff until further notice.
The move by the acting DG to breathe new lease of life into the affairs of the agency by realigning some key staff had pitched him against a top presidential aide, who sidestepped the National Security Adviser and ordered Seiyefa to jettison the new postings with immediate effect.
A top source knowledgible in the exercise said that following the order by the Presidency to the DG to discontinue with the reorganization, no fewer than 30 senior directors and management staff, who had been moved to other states and Abuja, were on Monday ordered to return to their former posts until further notice.
The source said that although what Seiyefa did was a routine redeployment of key staff for effective operations, those opposed to him and his administration reported to the Presidency that he was ‘busy removing APC loyalists and replacing them with supporters of a rival political party’.
“Once the allegation of political bias was raised against the acting DG, some powerful persons felt that it was necessary to stop Seiyefa without even looking at the merit of that allegation.
“The implication of what they have succeeded in doing is that the service has now been hijacked by politicians and it is very dangerous for the operatives, who are supposed to be pure and non-partisan professionals in the discharge of their duties to Nigeria,” a source said.
It was not clear as at last night for how long the acting DG would be tolerated in the system especially since he has less than a year to spend in the DSS.
Under the law establishing the DSS, cited as Nigerian Security Agencies Act of June 5, 1998, the appointment and movement of staff of the agency are supposed to be sanctioned by a principal officer appointed by the Presidency.
However, the law does not specify who the principal officer should be among the key officers who report to the President.
But it Middle Belt, South West, South South and South East leaders on Sunday accused the Chief of Staff to the President of asking the DSS boss to reverse the reorganistion of staff he had already done for effective service delivery.
He is said to have summoned and queried the DSS DG on who authorized him to effect the changes without Buhari’s expressed authorization.
The report that it was the Vice President who sanctioned the changes while acting for Buhari when he was away on vacation in London, did not go down well with the influential presidential aide, according to media reports.