Lawal Daura: The Making Of A Scape Goat At The Very Top by Umar Sa’ad Hassan
I really must say President Buhari’s handlers have improved remarkably. First, Lawal Daura was fired in response to the invasion of the national assembly by masked operatives of the DSS, then they allowed Vice-President Yomi Osinbajo take all the credit before letting the world know Buhari authorized it and had it in his plans to sack Daura even before the incident. At the end of it all, the senate president, Bukola Saraki is being accused of using him to witch-hunt himself and that has stuck like glue.
But here is the thing. About 2 weeks ago, DSS operatives along with some police officers, blocked the gates to Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu’s houses in a purported bid to stop them from conducting a plenary session where 32 APC senators were scheduled to decamp to the PDP. The news of their defection from the APC over-shadowed the other events of that day and very few bothered to pay a little extra attention to the gestapo-style invasion of the residences of the number 3 and 5 citizens of the federal republic. President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo did absolutely nothing. Nothing concrete was adduced to wave off the accusing fingers pointed at them.
In as much as it sounds like a very good strategy to endear himself to the average Nigerian; a testament to the improved handling of the Presidency’s excess baggage, it is simply impossible for the Presidency to sit back and do nothing after Saraki ‘staged’ the first blockade at his residence by the DSS and police operatives. Buhari wouldn’t stay mute while Daura and the IG of police, Ibrahim Idris helped him to hero status except of course, they were complicit. Anyone selling a ‘Saraki witch-hunting Saraki’ theory would have to tackle that extensively.
Having established that the powers at the very top have made him a marked man, then the next thing would be to fill in the blank spaces. Why was the invasion of the national assembly called off and why was Daura made a scape goat?.
The invasion is widely deemed an act of frustration against the senate leadership after they got wind of plans to impeach them and rallied their troops to check it. What the orchestrators did not expect was the amount of attention it would generate in the international community. Prominent foreign governments through their envoys, were said to have reached out to the Presidency and expressed grave concerns over what manner of threat against national security would necessitate the sealing off of the legislative arm of government by the DSS?. At that point, there would only be one scape goat, Lawal Daura. The aides who followed him to the villa to meet Osinbajo were summoned back to the office and he is presently said to be staying at a guest house of the police meant for high profile suspects. The presidency would really have to go the extra mile to disprove the notion that there weren’t privy to his clandestine activities.
They would have to do much more than EFCC investigations that will not end in prosecutions or leaking false atrocities with no tangible proof. A strategically unverifiable report of him claiming to be taking orders from Adams Oshiomole, the APC chairman surfaced and got debunked. Another one claiming Abba Kyari, the President’s chief of staff asked him to do it has also been planted. In this PR strategy, even the truth could be bandied and made unconfirmed in an attempt to lead everyone back to the official narrative.
The freezing of 3 bank accounts belonging to the Benue state government by the EFCC after it opened a case against Governor Ortom days after his defection to the PDP and one belonging to the Akwa-Ibom state government in what appears the first shot by the APC on behalf of its latest convert, Sen. Godswill Akpabio in an impending battle for supremacy between him and the PDP state government, all point to a renewed vigour in clamping down on political foes by the government. The foreign powers can’t interfere in matters like these and the APC is having a ball going at its ‘traitors’.
From where I stand, Lawal Daura is not an enemy of the government. As a matter of fact, he loves it enough to take a fall for it. What remains to be seen is whether he will stay fallen.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano
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