ABUJA, Nigeria – There is confusion at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) over Commandant General, Abdullahi Gana.
Gana’s extended tenure elapsed on Monday January 18.
In 2019, the federal government through the Ministry of Interior elongated his tenure by six months.
NSCDC spokesman, Emmanuel Okeh, in a statement on July 19, announced that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbeshola communicated the approval.
Now, the presidency has asked Gana to remain in office pending an official memo on the next line of action, PRNigeria reports.
Gana was said to have handed over yesterday to a Deputy Commandant General, Hilary Kelechi Madu.
But the presidency, it was gathered, insists it did not give a handover directive and as such, the status quo be maintained.
The claim is that Gana still has two years in service.
If so, stakeholders wonder why was he granted a six-month extension that elapsed on Monday.
They argue that the government could have in 2019 approved his incumbency until “actual” retirement date
Madu is currently the most senior officer at NSCDC after Gana.
The DCG in charge of Operations now has to wait longer as efforts are being made to further extend his boss’s stay in office.
Powerful forces are lobbying the presidency and top officials for this to happen.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Aregbesola had been warned not to grant additional tenure extension to heads of paramilitary agencies.
Aside Gana, others are Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Jaafaru Ahmed, and Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede.
A retired Immigration Officer, Daniel Makolo, had stated that Aregbesola acted beyond his constitutional authority ab initio.
Aregbesola chairs the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB).
Makolo said he had no legal power “to recommend or extend the statutory tenure of any public servant, no matter and however industrious such an officer may be.”
The human rights lawyer pointed out that the Public Service Commission is the body empowered with specific provisions for entry and exit.
“The practice of arbitrary, illegal elongation of the statutory tenure of public office occupants sets a dangerous precedent for bureaucracy and national security”, he warned.