President Muhammadu Buhari
There are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may carry out a major shake-up in the top echelons of the military.
It was learnt that service chiefs and other senior officers across the various arms of the military might be relieved of their posts to pave way for new hands.
Findings showed that Buhari would replace the service chiefs with equally experienced officers.
It was gathered that all but one of the military chiefs would be disengaged by the President, while appointing new officers who would be expected to implement the new phase of the war against the Boko Haram sect in the North-East.
Sources said that there was anxiety in the military over the looming change of guard which is expected to affect all the services, including the Army, Navy, and the Air Force.
It was gathered that the military chiefs were acutely aware of the fate that might befall them, having reached the pinnacle of their career.
A source said that the President may be considering one of the service chiefs to ensure smooth transition between the present military chiefs and their successors.
But another source said this was not likely, noting that the only service chief that might be retained is the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, who was appointed a few months ago by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
One of our correspondents gathered that Buhari would likely appoint his “loyalists” and those he had worked with into top positions.
It was also gathered that Buhari might have made up his mind to use policemen and soldiers as presidential security, while whittling down the influence and presence of the Department of State Services at the Presidential Villa.
It was also learnt that Buhari indicated his preference for policemen and soldiers trained in body guard protection instead of the usual teams of DSS personnel used by his predecessor.
A source said that the President is unhappy with the agency over the “various negative security reports it wrote against him during his struggle to become the President, including the report on the recent certificate saga.”
Security sources said the rejection of 253 DSS operatives by Villa authorities last week was informed by the President’s directive that he did not want the agency’s personnel around him.
One of the sources said, “The President has yet to forgive the DSS for what he sees as its antagonism against him before the last general elections. So, the President has decided to keep the agency at arm’s length and for his security, he will be using policemen and soldiers.”
The source added that though a DSS operative would still occupy the post of the Chief Security Officer of the villa, “the CSO will be a mere figure-head because he would have no control over the security at the villa.”
Further findings showed that since Buhari was sworn in, information about his itinerary and schedules were no longer passed to the DSS as is the tradition under the former President.
Our correspondents learnt that under the last administration, the CSO would always be informed about the President’s movement and daily itinerary, but this was said to have changed since Buhari assumed office. Presently, it was gathered, it is only the President’s Aide-de-Camp that knows Buhari’s daily schedule and the CSO had to rely on his contacts within the villa to know the President’s movement.
When contacted, the DSS Deputy Director, Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, had told one of our correspondents earlier in the week that she could not comment on the issue of posting of the service officers at the villa.
“I don’t have such information and I cannot comment on it,” she said.
Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Sheu, declined to comment on the issues of appointment.
He said Buhari could not make any pronouncement on appointments or any other issue until he received the report of his transition committee.
Shehu recalled that J