By Danladi Alhassan
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the redeployment of Bashir Abubakar, his Chief Security Officer (CSO) and accepted a replacement.
Abubakar was the president’s CSO until this week when he was ordered to proceed on an immediate “strategic course” at a university in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Presidency sources said that he has been replaced by Idris Kassim Ahmed.
This is the second time, President Buhari would be replacing his CSO. In July 2015, Buhari just two months in office replaced Abdulrahman Mani as his CSO and requested the Department of State Security (DSS) to post him out of the Presidential Villa. Abubakar was appointed to replace him.
Abubakar, before then was an assistant director in the Bayelsa State command of the SSS.
Mr Ahmed, the new CSO, was deployed from the headquarters of the SSS.
Security sources said hinted that Abubakar’ss removal was at the instance of the Director General of the SSS, Yusuf Bichi.
“The DG wrote and informed Mr President of the plans by the service to send the former CSO for further training at Argentina and it appears that request was granted because a replacement has already been named,” a source said.
Another source who asked not to be named because of the “sensitive nature of the matter” said those around the president have never been happy with the way the former CSO operated.
A source said those around the president do not like the “independent method of operation” of Abubakar.
“They may not have approached the president to complain officially but most of them do by their body language and they did so because they know the president easily knows everything going on around him even if he never showed it,” the source said.
For instance, Abubakar expelled the State House correspondent of Punch Newspaper, Olalekan Adetayo, without recourse to the media team at the Villa.
However, Abubakar defended his decision to expel the reporter saying journalists have a responsibility to be patriotic in reporting matters of national importance.
In an internal memo he distributed in April 2017, to several presidency officials, including Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Abubakar detailed alleged transgressions and ethical concerns observed in Adetayo’s reporting of activities of the State House, and pronounced him unfit to continue on the beat.
“You may wish to advise the Punch Newspaper that it reserves the right to send a more matured, professional and patriotic representative that will work in the overall interest of the nation rather than self-serving and parochial interests,” Abubakar, said in the April 25, 2017 memo, of which he copied President Buhari and his boss, Lawal Daura, the then Head of SSS.