RE: CRISIS ROCKS DSS

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Raymond Uchenna argues that the piece is mischievous

I recently came across an article titled Crisis Rocks DSS, Why They Failed On #Endsars Intel, DG Suspends two Assistant DGs, published on Jackson Ude’s owned Pointblanknews.com. As a patriotic Nigerian, with vast experience in journalism, security, diplomacy, public service and human management, I can boldly say the writeup was poorly crafted to suggest the DSS has become a rudderless ship. Not true.

The accusation that the DSS was complicit in the degeneration of the EndSARS protests for which its image and leadership must be dragged to the mud is nothing but sensational, illogical and irresponsible.

Unlike the writer who went all out to dent the intelligence agency, I have chosen to stay off emotions and stick to only facts to guide public understanding of issues. This is so that readers are not further misled by the unsubstantiated claims in the article under reference. Intelligence processes determine the daily activities of the government and governance. These processes start with the needs of intelligence consumers as well as other decision makers who require such information for informed policy.

Intelligence is strictly shared on need-to -know basis and restrictions. There is no evidence that Jackson UDE partakes in the intelligence process production chain in Nigeria. He is not a stakeholder in the intelligence structure. Real stakeholders have not complained about DSS’ laxity in intelligence production and sharing. The writer’s claim that the DSS failed to intercept intelligence on the recent EndSARS protests is irrational. How did he arrive at this conclusion?

It is obvious he does not possess detailed knowledge of the workings of the intelligence community in the country. It is more worrisome that he depended on his ignorance to deceive his gullible audience. Has the President and other intelligence bodies such as the Joint Intelligence Board, the National Security Council, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other relevant stakeholders who receive daily intelligence briefs complained of under-performance?

I view the accusation that the DSS failed to intercept intelligence on the recent EndSARS protests as a weak excuse aimed at giving support to the baseless allegations contained in the write-up.

The DSS variously issued statements about plans by some elements and groups to destabilise the nation. Or have we forgotten? How else does intelligence operate? Are such statements not proactive approach about what to come? EndSars was never a surprise to the DSS. It saw it coming. And it warned. I want to believe that the pivotal role of the Service before, during and after the EndSARS protest was critical in the restoration of peace and stability. But for its tireless effort under the leadership of the present DG, and synergy with other agencies, the consequences of the EndSARS protests may have been irredeemable. I have always seen the DSS and its operatives as unsung heroes who, despite the pointless attacks on its image, have remained true and committed to duties of curtailing threats to the internal security of the Nigeria. It has become evident that only those who desire a regime change through the #EndSARS are unable to see the efforts of the DSS and other security agencies in maintaining peace and order.

On the other issues the writer raised, my findings revealed that the allegation of a crisis between the DGSS and his Assistant Directors-General is false. At no time in the history of the Service has any DG, past or present faced opposition from his assistants. The Service is not even wired so. It is a disciplined regimented organization where loyalty and dedication to duty and nation is sacred. I am very sure that in the SSS, there is adequate space to lay complaints. Not on the pages of the newspapers or pseudo names or persons to operate on the internet.

Aggrieved senior officers can take various steps including writing a petition to the President or NSA or any of the Committees of the National Assembly to get redress or justice. They should also append their names and signatures to such petitions. The so-called ADGs in the article have not done this. They, should therefore, not hide under naysayers to destroy the distinguished agency, the DSS. The Service, without mincing words, has paid its dues. The unity of Nigeria has rested on its shoulders, thus enemies of progress should not join moles and internal detractors to distract it.

I can categorically state that since his assumption of Office, the present DG enjoys impeccable support and cooperation of his management team and indeed all staff. This assertion is reflected in the efficient and optimal discharge of the Service’ mandate to protecting and preserving the internal security of the country.

Another false claim is that the morale of DSS staff is at its lowest.

My inquiries revealed that even the lowest ranking operative in the DSS rates the present DG as one of the best in terms of staff welfare. Not only are salaries and allowances paid on time, all outstanding sundry arrears have been cleared by his administration. This is in addition to the provision of very conducive working environment and also accommodations as well as the face-lifting of almost all existing structures to boost staff personnel.

Just recently, the Forum of Retired Directors (FORD) of the DSS paid solidarity visit to the DGSS and praised him for his sterling leadership disposition. The Forum members are accomplished personalities and not known for praise singing.

Also, from my inquiries, I can tell you that I find insulting, the insinuation that the DGSS is intimidated by the credentials of most of his lieutenants as claimed in the article. If the writer had carried out due diligence on the qualifications of Y.M. Bichi and his wealth of experience, he would have known he has successfully headed state commands, training schools and directorates in the National Headquarters while in active service. He is the only person, serving or retired, that has headed all the Service’ Directorates including Administration, Operations, Enforcement, Inspectorate, Intelligence, among others. A fellow of the War College, he has received specialized and professional trainings at local and international levels. Given his professional qualifications and invaluable contributions to the success of the Service, the DG was recalled to head the agency.

I know for a fact that since the inception of the Service, postings and deployments of all cadres of personnel have been a regular occurrence. These have never been put to question. That an issue is now being made out of routine placements clearly shows desperation by discontented persons to disparage the leadership of the DSS. This should stop. Undermining the efforts of our security agencies will only cause the country more harm than good.

A major factor that significantly influences posting and deployment in the Service is performance and not largely seniority. I know for sure that the DSS does not suffer fools lightly. Anyone who thinks they have big ranks but cannot prove it through creativity and innovation should not occupy space for those who work out their souls for country and Service.

As traditional with the DSS, its Directors and Heads of Formation who routinely underperform are usually recalled to the headquarters. The rules cannot be changed because a few individuals.