A crisis of confidence between the Director-General of the Department of State Service, DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi, and 15 Assistant Directors General of the agency may have been responsible for the Service’s failure to intercept intelligence on the recent #EndSARS protests which rocked Nigeria.
Created in 1986, the DSS is the principal security agency responsible for gathering intelligence on internal security, protecting government assets, as well as providing personal security for VIPs and their families.
However, for three straight days late last month, youth in their thousands barricaded major roads in Nigerian major cities demanding an end to police brutality. Overwhelmed by the protesters, and the damage to public and private property by suspected hoodlums believed to have hijacked the protests, several state governments called in the army.
There may be no end in sight to the mounting insecurity across Nigeria as the morale of top officers of the DSS appears to be at its lowest since the agency’s creation in 1986, Pointblanknews.com can authoritatively reveal.
Rather than work with his ADGs who are supposed to help coordinate the agency’s activities from the headquarters in Abuja, Bichi has deployed resources to subjugate them by all means necessary, Pointblanknews.com checks revealed.
Aside from the ADG in charge of the agency’s base station in Lagos, each of the remaining ADGs ought to head nine directorates in the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
However, instead of allowing the ADGs, the equivalent of Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, to remain in the DSS headquarters to help drive the mandate of the agency, Bichi posted most of them out to states as State Directors of Security (SDS).
“This is akin to posting an AIG to head a state police command, a position traditionally reserved for Commissioners of Police”, a retired SDS told Pointblanknews.com.
To rub in the humiliation on his ADGs, the retired officer further told Pointblanknews.com, that Bichi appointed junior officers to head the directorates in the headquarters “technically making the senior officers by rank subordinate to their juniors who were appointed head of the directorates”.
He pointed to instances where the SSS boss made certain ADGs report to officers who joined the service six or more years after them, and who had served as their juniors.
Even as the ADGs were quietly nursing their wounds, the DSS boss struck last week, relieving two ADGs of their appointment.
Citing declining performance, Bichi directed Salami Ajege and Rasheed Adediran, SDS in Kwara and Osun states respectively, to report at the national headquarters.
As of the time of filing this report, Ajege and Adediran have yet to be assigned any office.
“They merely asked both men to return to Abuja to complete the humiliation. They have no offices. They have no tasks. They are simply ADGs without a portfolio. The Service never had it this bad,” added the former officer.
Pointblanknews.com. gathered from serving personnel that Bichi is intimidated by the credentials of most of the ADGs who could challenge him at security meetings, and felt it was better to keep them away from Abuja.
The officer lamented that the infighting was taking a huge toll on the efficiency of the secret police.
He cited the failure of the DSS to intercept intelligence and forestall the recent #EndSARS protests that rocked many parts of Nigeria for days, last month.
He noted, “We were caught pants down. We were caught napping. And the only reason this happened to the Service was the lack of synergy between the DG and his ADGs. They are not happy with the humiliation he’s meting out on them, and there’s no way you’ll expect a disenchanted man to offer his best, especially on security matters.”
He continued, “In other climes, the President would have fired the DSS boss for the failure of intelligence on the #EndSARS protests that cost Nigeria several lives and damage to public and private property to the tune of billions of Naira. This is aside from the domestic and international embarrassment it is causing the Nigerian government” he opined.
Aside from recording several notable security successes, including the 1993 arrest of the Egyptian bomber Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq, intercepting, in 2010, a large cache of arms from Iran, quelling the MASSOB insurrection, and foiling several kidnap attempts, the DSS is believed to be one of the few efficient security agencies.
“It is, therefore, most humiliating and embarrassing that an agency so well respected for its professionalism would now become a pawn on the chessboard of an individual to the point that we would not have the slightest hint that a protest was being organized and funded from within the shores of Nigeria,” he declared.