Ahead of 2023 general election, a Coalition of civil society and citizen’s groups Citizens Stability Forum (CSF), has appealed to Nigeria’s security agencies to treat critical intelligence report provided by the Department of State Services (DSS) with utmost concern.
ALL IN ONE reports that the group made the appeal in a statement issued on Sunday jointly signed by the lead convener Mukhtar Lawan and co-covener John Azi.
CSF warned against what it described as routine disregard, and lack of appreciation of critical intelligence provided by the country’s lead spook agency, the Department of State Services (DSS) ahead of next year’s election.
The group also called on well-meaning individuals, and relevant security agencies to specially commend the current Director General, DG, DSS, Yusuf Bichi, given critical intelligence his agency has provided as back up to fighting insurgency and banditry, so far.
According to CSF, grave security breaches that have happened in the country were caused by the lack of collaboration and synergy between security agencies in the country.
“The most disturbing aspect been the continuous disregard to security intelligence provided by DSS to the Military, Police and Paramilitary security agencies, something that in some countries can be treated as a treasonable offence,” the statement said.
CSF alarm may not be unfounded given the series of insecurity episodes blamed on disregard of intelligence by the DSS, some of which were harped on by the forum.
“For example, before the Bombing, shooting and Kidnapping incident on the Abuja-Kaduna Train on the 28th of March 2022, the DSS issued a security alert about the suspicious movements and activities of terrorist elements in the vicinity of the rail lines between Rijana and Kateri to both the Military and police as well as the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
“Unfortunately, the disregard to such critical intelligence by relevant authorities led to the loss of lives of eight Nigerian citizens, 41 hospitalised and over sixty (60) civilians kidnapped by terrorists.
“Likewise, before the terrorist attack on Kuje Prison on the 5th of July 2022 where they succeeded in releasing their fellow colleagues, it is on record that the DSS shared 44 intelligence reports relating to this threat with relevant agencies before the attack on the prison.
“This has been proved by remarks from the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase who stated that he has gone through the report, but unfortunately the relevant agencies failed to act,” CSF stated.
CSF further urged the public to ask questions, like what the problem is and why there hasn’t been interagency synergy.
“Why is the collaboration and cooperation between the security agencies this ineffective and who is at fault and responsible for this,” the group asked.
The group further commended Bichi, DSS DG, over his role saying that the security agency being ability to hold its own under the circumstances is largely due to his dexterity.
” A lot of the success and ability of the DSS to meet up with its own security responsibility is down to the excellent leadership from the DSS hierarchy led by Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi,” CSF said.