The Department of State Services (DSS) on Sunday recalled half of its operatives assigned to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, as well as deputy speaker, Yussuff Lasun, a report by TheCable had indicated.
This is coming ahead of Monday’s talks between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the nPDP team to be led by Dogara.
Saraki is also a member of nPDP, the faction that broke away from the PDP in 2013 to team up with APC for the 2015 elections.
The security operatives attached to the presiding officers of the national assembly were directed to report to the DSS headquarters “with immediate effect” and no reason was given for the withdrawal, although it is believed to have been at the instance of the presidency.
The development could not confirmed from the DSS, which has not had a spokesperson since Lawal Daura was appointed its director-general in 2015, but sources at the national assembly confirmed the recall of the operatives.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, told reporters that the number of the DSS operatives attached to the two presiding officers was reduced.
He, however, clarified that it was not a total withdrawal of all the operatives. Namdas stated, “Yes, the development we have is that they have reduced the Speaker’s DSS operatives. They also reduced the operatives attached to the Deputy Speaker.
“They have not offered any explanations for this action” he stated. Namdas declined to give the exact number of men withdrawn, but, a parliamentary source informed The PUNCH that 10 operatives were withdrawn from Dogara, while five were withdrawn from Lasun.
“In all, they took away 15 operatives from the two presiding officers”, the source said
A source in the Senate confirmed to one of our correspondents that the DSS operatives attached to Senate President, Bukola Saraki had been reduced tremendously.
“It is true. They were reduced tremendously but I don’t have more details yet,” the source said.
The nPDP had recently issued an ultimatum to APC for a meeting, complaining that it had been marginalised by the ruling party after helping them to oust the PDP from power in 2015.
There are speculations that nPDP members will defect from APC and present a candidate to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019.