First Word on SB

First Word on SB

Telling stories that matter to Nigerians

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FW: Is the appointment of the new DSS Director lopsided?

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha is trying to figure out how to tell as many impact stories as possible in different forms.

This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news.

President Buhari recently appointed Yusuf Bichi to serve as Director-General (DG) of the Department of State Security Services (DSS). Bichi replaces Matthew Seiyefa, who was Acting Director-General of the agency following the removal of Mr. Lawal Daura by then Acting President Osinbajo during the raid on the National Assembly. However, the appointment has seen familiar accusations about ethnic bias in the security leadership of the country revisited. 

 

Lopsided Appointments?

The removal of Mr. Seiyefa, a southerner, and his replacement by Mr. Bichi, a Northerner, has raised familiar questions of Buhari's preference for Northerners in most of the nation's sensitive security positions. Fourteen of the Seventeen established positions of Nigeria's security infrastructure have been occupied by Northerners in this dispensation, a different cry from previous administrations. But while that does not necessarily mean any issue, as competence should be taken into account over ethnicity, it is the nature of the individuals that have been appointed that have caused Nigerians to be concerned. Both of Buhari's DSS appointees, Mr. Daura and Mr. Bichi were both retired when they were appointed to the position. And in both cases, the most senior serving staff member that was overlooked was a Southerner, most recently Acting DG Matthew Seiyefa. This has caused a group of Southern leaders to publish an open letter denouncing Buhari's appointment.

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