By Ismail Auwal
A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations and civic actors fighting against corruption in Nigeria called Citizens Voice Against Corruption (CIVAC) has cautioned the public regarding “a deliberate misinformation published by Pointblank Newspaper on happenings within the Department of State Service (DSS).”
The coalition noted that the campaign was aimed at discrediting the character and service of the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi.
According to a statement issued by CIVAC on Wednesday, The Pointblank reporter deliberately chose to launch his blackmail toward the DG by hiding behind the destruction of lives’ and public properties arising from the recent #ENDSARS protest that engulfed the nation some months ago.
In the statement, CIVAC said that, “The aim is politically motivated to discredit the selfless service of the DSS as an agency, create division within the ranks of its officers and politicise the efforts of the DSS boss in bringing the agency back to effectiveness and respect to rule of law.”
“ The appointment of Mr Bichi on the 14th of September 2018 was strategically made by the President Buhari with the intention to bring in an experienced and selfless Director capable of steering the DSS away from the rot and impunitive actions witnessed at that time. Mr Bichi came in with so much experience gained over decades of service with the DSS. During his career service,” the statement added
CIVAC added that, Mr Bichi underwent training in intelligence processing analysis, agent handling, as well as recruitment and processing in the United Kingdom.
And he has also undergone various other strategic training at the National Defence College. Mr Bichi worked as the State Director of DSS in various states including Jigawa, Abia, Niger and Sokoto states.
The coalition noted that “He also served in the capacity of Director at the following units; National Assembly Liaison (National War College), Directorate of Security Enforcement, Directorate of Operations, Directorate of Intelligence and Directorate of Administration and Finance,”
“We can all agree that Mr Bichi brought enormous experience and skills to the job.”
The Department of State Service, was set-up in 1986 with the main responsibilities of delivering service in counter-intelligence, internal security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of crimes against the state.
“Delivering on these responsibilities have been the main goals of Mr Bichi since he came into office. “
The Coalition said that, the successes recorded by the service under his supervision is there for all to see, these include successes in areas of the fight against bandits and their collaborators, kidnappers, gun runners and members and sympathiser terrorist organisations, as well as the handling of the activities of IPOB and #RevolutionNow movements whose aim is the total destabilisation and destruction Nigeria.
“This is evident from the increasing numbers national and international commendations directed at the DSS boss for the effectiveness and efficiency of the DSS under his leadership as well as its respect to citizens right and the Nigerian constitution,”
“Mr Bichi has vigorously drive improvement in welfare and wellbeing of personnel including, improved and frequent payment of allowances, more investment in infrastructure in commands and formations across the country, as well as providing officers and operatives with more training and re-training opportunities,”
“These are all geared towards creating a conducive working environment and increasing the efficiency of the workforce,”
The DSS does not flaunt its operations and activities to the public, rather most operations and activities are classified, and this is the norm for State and Secrete Service departments all over the world.
As such if the Pointblank reporter is not aware of the actions of DSS regarding operations pre and post the #ENDSARS menace that is because such information is not meant for the public.
The present DG, have instil selflessness and discipline within the DSS and that might be something that corrupt officers and their political sponsors are not happy with.
It is on record how previous administrations use the DSS officials as political tools to attack and blackmail opposition and in manipulating democratic processes, all of which is no longer happening under his leadership.
However, in such circumstances, it is expected that corrupt official and their sponsors will fight back mainly by resorting to smeared media blackmail against the DG which we are presently witnessing.
“When it comes to placement and redeployment of personnel of the DSS, it is up to the DG to deploy and re-assign personnel to departments and areas that best suits their capabilities,”
“This is a common practice in all security agencies all over the world in order to increase efficiency and avoid putting round peg in a square hole. Similarly, discipline is part of the service and officers who are found wanting will be disciplined in line with the code of conduct of the agency, of which suspension is one of them,”
“As a result, personnel of the DSS whether high officers or low ranking ones should know that they are serving their country (which they swore an oath to) and not are serving Mr Bichi and should therefore be disciplined and ready to serve at whatever capacity their country needs them,”
“Lastly, over the years we have seen how politicians and some media outlets use unfair criticism and blackmail against many security agencies in this country which have led to significant loss of confidence of security personnel of these agencies and this has affect their capacity to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians,”
The Coalition call on Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation to avoid spreading misinformation that will damage the integrity and confidence of our security agencies and their personnel, only then will we have a disciplined and efficient security system.
“Media institutions should also avoid publishing fake or half-baked information, just to get public attention or popularity, and should note that most activities of the DSS are not open to public and most of the information’s getting to them are completely fake or one sided to suit the narrative of the information giver.” The group called