President Muhammadu Buhari has obviously shown that he is more comfortable with soldiers around him rather than operatives of the Department of State Security that have before his emergence, been in charge of security at the villa.
This became clearer on Wednesday when the Aide de Camp to the President, Lt. Col Abubakar Lawal ordered personnel of the DSS out of the villa and handed over to soldiers.
The president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, however explained that the action was not an expulsion of the DSS from the Villa but a realignment of security around the President.
According to him, the realignment entails that the armed forces would man the inner perimeter of the President security while operatives of the DSS would man the outer perimeter.
His words: “Rumours that personnel of the Department of State Services have been expelled from the Presidential Villa are unfounded.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has given no such order.
“While it is true that a reorganisation of security at the Presidential Villa which involves the realignment of personnel from various services is underway, the exercise does not translate to the expulsion of DSS personnel from the premises in any way.
“The changes being made are routine adjustments which are not unexpected in any dynamic environment from time to time.”
It will be recalled that since assuming office as the President, there has been an intense rivalry between DSS personnel and the army over who is to provide close body security to the president.
This is the first time that the DSS which has the professional capability and capacity would be striped of its constitutional responsibility of providing close bodyguard protection to the President and his immediate family.