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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

YEMI ADEBOWALE: WHY NOT LEAVE BICHI AND DSS ALONE

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Since the Omoyele Sowore Saga, I have read several commentaries and recently, attacks on the DSS. A more recent one was that of Yemi Adebowale published on the 16th November, 2019 edition of Thisday online. From his title The Overzealous Security Man Called Yusuf Bichi to the conclusions, the writer spewed venom and hate against the person and office of the DG of DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi. Presumably, the only reason that qualified Adebowale to pen down the nonsense was his ethnic origin and supposed allegiance to defend his people’s political interest.

Otherwise, how can such a man engage in abusive attack of that magnitude on a professional like Bichi? I do not work in the DSS neither am I holding forth for it. But I am a patriot and a detribalized Nigerian. Is it not rather ironic that no Yoruba elder statesman has been able to speak against Sowore’s acts of brigandage and irresponsibility? It is no longer a secret that some Yoruba interests are in a hurry to take over in 2023. Sowore and many others are pushing this for sure. But wouldn’t they rather be patient and procedural.

Sowore contested an election and failed woefully. Instead of approaching the Courts in line with the electoral act, he went to the streets to call for a forceful change of government. He is representing the new wave of hostile NGOs charged by subversive international networks to pull down their home governments and take over the reins of power. The reason is so that they and their cohorts take charge of resources and pillage them.

This is the only reason Sowore is desirous of being a demagogue. The DSS is certainly rising to the occasion to disrupt him. The DSS has not reached overboard in this direction. It is simply discharging its mandate of detecting and preventing threats against the internal security of Nigeria and Sowore is that threat. Is this how Bichi has become overzealous?

I have followed developments on this story. It made me ask pertinent questions on the investigative role that journalism should play as a watchdog of society. One thing that was particularly clear was that the writer – Adebowale is ill informed or blatantly chose to ignore the facts. His opinion is laced with hate for a man he knows not.

Having read the piece, I failed to grasp the substance of his argument which was obviously pre-determined to only cast aspersion on a man and an agency he knows nothing about. If he stopped to consider before churning out the filth he did, he would have noticed that public and private opinions shared on Bichi paint him as a consummate intelligence officer; an unassuming fellow with track records in intelligence and security management. Beyond what anyone can say, the curriculum vitae of the man, Yusuf Bichi saddled with the responsibility of leading the nation’s intelligence agency, is a public document.

It is obvious to the discerning that he is schooled in the finest of institutions. Being armed with over 35 years of experience in intelligence management to his credit, it is not surprising that he was called back from retirement to serve. This is not only a pointer to his acumen, but the leadership capabilities that he wields.
How is Bichi as the DSS DG overzealous? He is not one to advertise his huge accomplishments within his time in office. I challenge anyone including Adebowale to an independent investigation into the antecedents of DGs of the SSS.

World over, intelligence agencies are saddled with responsibilities of preventing and detecting threats to a nation’s security. In this regard, the DG has accomplished a lot and yet not noisy about them. The problem with people like Yemi is that they take what they see, read or hear only in the pages of write-ups like his and assume they know everything. If Sowore were not Yoruba, Adebowale would probably not be making noise.
Let me pause to ask – has anyone ever considered the enormity or the gravity of the threats Sowore poses to Nigeria, Nigerians and their interests. Nigeria may not be perfect, but it is popularly said that the worst democracy is better than military rule. While military rule is no longer fashionable, an uprising will only worsen the situation. A classic case in point is that of Libya. Currently, Hong Kong’s economy is in a state of recession occasioned by months of street protests. What has changed between Obasanjo’s time (1999-2007) and now? Have the taps running during his time gone dry? What is motivating Sowore for a revolution except for a vaulting ambition. Is Bichi overzealous for being proactive and ensuring there is no breakdown of law and order? Are you saying that Sowore should have been allowed in his lawlessness? And even when he is ordered for release by the Court, should he have been relelased to a horde of miscreants?

All over the world, democracies are not without challenges. This is why there are laws to prevent the excesses of not only governments, but individuals as well. The rule of law is as important as protection of national security interests. Adebowale’s piece can therefore be summed as a clear hatchet job of an ethnic jingoist whose only ambition is to bring tribalism to the Sowore matter.

It is a calculated attempt to instigate ethnic uprising that will serve political objectives of the author and his sponsors. I bet even you are not ready for the consequences of the supposed revolution you wish to unleash. I want to ask you to research the workings of intelligence because clearly, Adebowale seems to be uninformed about the very same agency he wishes to discredit.
My advice in all this is if you have something to say, why not articulate and engage constructively with the DSS.

Now, more than ever, it has become accommodating and more humane in its relations with the public. It has a public presence that cannot be denied. Who would open the lines of the DSS for such communication if not a forward thinking individual.

Many unsung heroes have paid the supreme price for the same peace which you ask Sowore and his misguided cronies to unsettle. Where is the place of professionalism and understanding of a subject matter before press reportage or has decorum been lost to personal aggrandizement?

The attack on the DG is unwarranted, unnecessary and smacks of malice. In case Adebowale wants to engage more, he should be objective and avoid name calling. Painting Yusuf Bichi black or calling him a dog to hang him is unnecessary.

 

Samuel Oche writes form Makurdi, Benue State

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