On Tuesday, armed Department of State Service, DSS barricaded the National Assembly blocking members of the hallowed chambers from seating until later in the morning.
Even though the lawmakers were later granted entrance, they were not allowed to enter the chambers neither were staff of the National Assembly.
In recent times, the DSS has come under intense criticism over some political activities it has involved itself in.
Two weeks ago, the DSS was alleged to have been used to orchestrate the planned impeachment of Benue State governor by 8 out of 30 members. The DSS allowed the 8 lawmakers of the state House of Assembly alleged to be President Buhari’s supporters entrance into the chamber but refused other 22 lawmakers alleged to be sympathetic to the governor access to the cambers.
On the 23rd of July, the DSS was illegally deployed to the Nigeria Football Federation’s office Abuja to eject the President, Chris Giwa out of office. The security men, as has become their trademark, said they were acting on others “from above.”
However, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, denied involvement of the President, Mohammadu Buhari in the sordid and illegal invasion and stated that the President cannot disobey the judgment of the Supreme Court that returned Giwa as the NFF president.
In April, some hoodlums, from nowhere invaded the hallowed chamber of the Senate, grabbed the mace and went away with it with the security details of the National Assembly deeply compromised.
The event on Tuesday, many believed, was tantamount to coup against Nigeria’s democracy. And acting in a manner characteristic of a true democrat and leader, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo swiftly terminated the appointment of the DSS Director-general, Lawal Daura.
Upon the announcement of the sacking, the DSS personnel at the National Assembly retreated.
Announcing the sack on his Twitter handle, the Acting President said; “As a start, I have directed that the appointment of the DG of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura be terminated. He has been directed to hand over to the most Senior Officer in the State Security Service.
“The unauthorized takeover of the NASS complex today is a gross violation of the rule of law and all acceptable notions of law and order.
“Persons within the law enforcement apparatus who participated in this travesty will be identified and subjected to disciplinary action,” Osinbajo twitted.
The Acting President in a later press release signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, described the unlawful act which was done without the knowledge of the Presidency, as condemnable and completely unacceptable.
This is not the first time the professor of law is ascending the number one office in the land in acting capacity amidst challenges. In the third time he has become the Acting President of the country, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has distinguished himself with remarkable strides.
Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Nigeria’s Acting President has gained some good popularity among the Nigerian people due to his leadership sagacity.
In his first sojourn as the Acting President he appointed Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief justice of Nigeria, CJN and forwarded his name to the Senate for confirmation. The appointment received the National Assembly’s blessings.
On February 8, 2017, he chaired the FEC and gave approval of N21 billion for the construction of the Ilorin-Omu Aran-Kabba Road, Section I. Also on February 15, he approved the award of N126 billion road projects spread across Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu an Kaduna states.
On February 16, he presided over the first National Economic Council meeting of the year and directed the CBN to review the foreign exchange policy. The meeting also resolved that fresh $250 million be injected into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). The CBN subsequently released about $500 million through the interbank market, where the 23 banks bought $371m.
Still on his FIRSTS, on February 17 2017, Professor Osinbajo signed seven bills into law. The bills were: Oaths (Amendment) Act 2017; Defence Space Administration Act 2017; Veterinary Surgeons (Amendment) Act 2017; and others. He then paid an unscheduled visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, as part of the 60-day action plan for business reforms in the country.
The visit took many airport workers by surprise. Osinbajo inspected facilities and interacted with airport officials. Less than 24 hours after his unscheduled visit to Lagos airport, the federal government announced the sack of 10 directors of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Three new directors and a general manager were also appointed for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The FEC meeting, Osinbajo chaired on February 22 approved N32 billion for the resuscitation and completion of the 50km dual carriage Kaduna eastern bypass highway. The Council also approved $39.9 for the construction of the Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge at Ikot Efiem. The council also approved the Revised National Policy on Environment.
To those who know the Acting President very well, what he did on Tuesday is a tip of the iceberg as more are to come. His vow to fish out the perpetrators of the Tuesday’s National Assembly siege and bring them to justice should not be taken with levity.
Indeed, by removing the former DSS boss, Daura from office, Acting President Osinbajo has saved Nigeria’s democracy.
Amaechi Agbo is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja.