Inter-agency rivalry rocks Aso Villa

Newsmen learnt that cold war is currently brewing among sister security agencies ahead of the relocation of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Since their inauguration on May 29, Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have yet to relocate to the State House, because renovation works going on in their official residences had not been completed.

While the President currently operates from Defence House, the official residence of the President-elect, Osinbajo is said to be residing in a private residence.

Ahead of their relocation, however, newsmen learnt that there is currently an ongoing inter-agency row on who will be in charge of the President’s security.

More prominent, it was learnt, is the cold war between the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services.

A Presidency source who pleaded anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue told our correspondent that one of the close aides of the President who is a retired military officer had written to the Nigerian Army, the DSS and the Nigeria Police to send a particular number of their men to be saddled with the responsibility of securing the State House.

He said the head of one of the security agencies had refused to take action on the directive because the author of the letter had not been given any formal responsibility by the President.

The official added that trouble started over the weekend when some officials of the Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps were driven into the State House with the instruction that they be deployed in strategic positions, including the President’s office and residence.

He added that the DSS officials on duty at the time denied them access into the State House until when a directive came that they should be allowed in.

The officials of NAIC were said to have taken over from the DSS officials.

The official said, “The NAIC officials were first driven into the Villa in a Coastal bus on Saturday, but they were turned back by officials of the DSS.

“After a series of meetings, we were later told that we should allow them in. So they came in on Sunday while some others joined them on Monday.

“Naturally, it is DSS officials that are always in charge of the President’s inner security. But with this development, it seems they want to change the tradition and use the NAIC guys.

“The talk among operatives is that the development might be political considering the roles the DSS played in the build up to the 2015 general elections.”


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