The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, has explained why an officer of the State Security Service (SSS) cleaned the shoes of the minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, in public.
A 30-second video clip showing an armed security official cleaning Mr. Dambazau’s shoes at the NSCDC Academy in December made available to Premium Times had gone viral.
Mr. Dambazau, who oversees the NSCDC, police, customs, immigration and prisons, came under severe criticism by Nigerians, following the release of the footage by this newspaper.
In a statement by the spokesman of the NSCDC, Okeh Emmanuel, justified the action of the security personnel and absolved the minister of blame.
“However, the news being peddled by some online media houses, alleging that the Honourable Minister of Interior LT. General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) converts SSS officer to a “shoe shiner” is baseless, fraudulent and malicious.
“It is a diversionary tactics of the evil ones to cast aspersion on the personality of the minister.
“The honourable minister who was on a visit to NSCDC facilities at Sauka never beckoned on any of his aides to come and clean his shoe as alleged.
“Rather, if the “aide” carried out such a function, it means it was done voluntarily without any iota of compulsion.
“The demonstration by the SSS personnel was a mark of respect for his principal since he was not compelled to do so.
“It should also be noted that a man of the calibre of the minister, who was one-time Chief of Army Staff is entitled to aides that could help in ensuring that he looks neat at all times,” said Mr. Emmanuel.
The statement also said Mr. Dambazau is currently on a “working visit to the North-East to assess the condition of the affected victims of insurgent attacks presently at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States”.