A retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Adebayo Adeoye, has called for the immediate restoration of the Department of State Services personnel to the Presidential Villa to provide close protection for President Muhammadu Buhari.
The former DIG noted that the use of soldiers as presidential guards could expose Buhari to danger and jeopardise his life.
Buhari had on Friday recounted his experience at the Eid praying ground where he was almost mobbed by youths who were anxious to see him. Buhari had said that a man with a knife could have attacked him during the tense moment before he managed to escape from the crowd.
Adeoye, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday, stated that the incident at the Eid praying ground showed that the soldiers guarding the President did not have the requisite experience and skills.
He observed that Buhari had to board his official car through the rear passenger side where the aide-de-camp normally sits to escape the mob.
The retired police chief said that the soldiers guarding the President had exposed him to danger by their poor crowd control skills, adding that the DSS operatives would have protected Buhari better.
He said, “DSS operatives should be called back to the Villa quickly. They should not endanger the life of the President. Anyone advising the President to use soldiers for his protection didn’t mean well, the President’s life was in danger at the Eid praying ground; he was almost mobbed by the crowd and I hope such a thing would not repeat itself.
“The DSS operatives should be allowed to protect the President; soldiers are not trained on crowd control or close protection.”
But a former FCT Commissioner of Police, Lawrence Alobi, said that soldiers in mufti could be used as part of the outer layer of presidential security, while the DSS should rather be used for intelligence-gathering.