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DSS Writes on National Security - Politics - Nairaland

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DSS Writes on National Security by tafabaloo(m): 1:11pm On Dec 29, 2018
Yusuf Magaji Bichi of DSS
Department of State Services [DSS] provided a wrtten response to our questions on the many security challenges in Nigeria. Excerpts:

On the security situation in the country:

We are faced with many security challenges in 2018, including

farmers/herders clashes, terrorists’ and insurgents’ attacks, separatist agitations, Shiite activities, kidnapping and cattle rustling. Political activities leading to elections also brought lots of concerns. DSS is saddled with the responsibility for internal security, including safe guarding its functionaries, critical assets and infrastructure from subversion and sabotage. The Service has made modest achievements and has remained focused on its plans for the years ahead.

On security challenges of the 2019 elections:

We are concerned with orderliness and security before, during and after elections. Governorship elections were conducted in Osun and Ekiti States in addition to other re-run elections, and they were adjudged peaceful. The Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) was largely responsible for these successes. The platform is also activated and reinforced in preparation for the 2019 general elections. One of the noticeable problem is the social media. More people are taking advantage of vibrant social media space to disseminate inciting and hateful news/materials. Unlike traditional media where originators/authors can be held responsible, it is difficult to identify perpetrators on social media because of its anonymity and global nature. The Service must be proactive to ensure that fake and manipulated news are curtailed. Nnamdi Kanu of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was arrested for churning out hate literature and propaganda. He was being prosecuted before he jumped bail.

On whether DSS is overstretched

DSS is mandated to provide protection for VIPs. Over the years, it has gained the confidence and trust of this class of persons. With elections at hand, coupled with safety and security concerns, DSS has been inundated with requests for protective details. We are grappling with the challenge while meeting other expectations.

On inter-agency collaboration

More than ever, DSS is engendering inter-agency collaboration and liaison through the provision of timely intelligence to action agencies. We carried out various operations to stem gun violence and armed conflicts across the country. Across the Middle Belt, Kaduna and parts of Niger-Delta, several suppliers and merchants of arms and ammunition were arrested. Some of the Service’s operational successes are well documented.

On frequent clashes with Shiites:

This year witnessed some confrontations between security agencies and the Shi’ite religious sect. The sect’s activity is not new, though it assumed a worrisome dimension in 2015. In the aftermath of its clash with the Military in 2015, the Service volunteered to take the Shi’ite leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky into protective custody and ensured that appropriate procedures were taken in handling him. One of such was to put him on trial. He is presently being kept based on an Order of the Court. However, consultations and discussions with leadership of the group are ongoing to soften their belligerence.

On farmers/ herders’ clashes:

Clashes between farmers and herders are driven by contest over control of fertile lands for farming and pasture and were prevalent in 2018. Based on DSS’s initiative with other security agencies, government set up Operation Whirlstroke to degrade or eliminate criminality. Currently, the Service is a driving force in the operation in such states as Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina where farmers/herders clashes and cattle rustling have been persistent. It has not been fully brought under control but we are happy with the level of success in Central Nigeria particularly Benue and Plateau States. DSS’s intelligence procurement programmes and counter assault units have brought the menace under substantial control.

On militancy in the Niger Delta:

The Niger-Delta region remained largely peaceful this year. Despite that, DSS maintained its counter militancy structures to contain the activities of agitators and prevent the formation of new ones.

On kidnapping:

Kidnapping has spread across all regions of the country. It has become a profitable venture for not only criminally minded people but terrorists, herdsmen, militants and cultists. Families of victims are often in a hurry to secure the release of loved ones, thus they boycott security input and starve security agencies of the much needed information that should aid further actions. This year the service arrested the kidnappers of a Portuguese in Kogi State and of the Agom Adara, along the Kaduna – Abuja Expressway. Some states have enacted laws to discourage kidnapping but lack of a national law against kidnapping has encouraged criminals.

On insurgency:

Since 2016 the security situation has improved. Bombings and targeted attacks which hitherto featured during festivals and yuletide seasons have been reduced to the barest minimum. DSS is part of the counterterrorism operations in the North East. It deployed huge resources, with the support of other agencies to successfully rescue a large number of the Chibok girls in two separate operations. The same feat was repeated in the release of the abducted Dapchi girls, NNPC staff and the ten women abducted on their way for a burial ceremony in Borno. The Service successfully arrested Khalid Al-Barnawi and Hussaini Maitangaran, two known terrorist commanders who were responsible for killing innocent Nigerians. DSS also disrupted terrorist financial networks, which helped to contain terrorist activities in the North-East and North-West regions.

Re: DSS Writes on National Security by tafabaloo(m): 3:36pm On Dec 29, 2018
Nice !! Worth reading .

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