BY AMOS DUNIA
After the hullaballoo that trailed the security advisories issued by the United States (US) Embassy in Abuja urging citizens to be on the alert for a possible strike by terrorist groups, the tension, and anxiety generated in the minds of citizens seem to have gone down and quiet as the postulations may have turned out differently.
While the security alerts might not have been a mirage, the nation’s security agencies led by the Department of State Services (DSS), however, moved fast and appropriately too in combing the nooks and crannies of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to fish out some elements of the terrorist group who may have infiltrated the city and allegedly hibernating in some parts of the nation’s capital.
Credible information indicates that the DSS, under the effective headship of its Director General, Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi, did not take the security alert lying low as it quickly moved into action by deploying its crack teams to go after the terrorists in every and any of their possible hideouts.
The DSS boss, considered and known to be a core professional officer, is more interested in achieving results than trying to show off what the officers and men under his supervision are doing based on his firm belief that action speaks louder than words.
Indeed, under his proactive style of operation and refusing to leave anything to chance, the DSS quickly collaborated with the military to storm the popular Trademore Estate, located in the Lugbe District of Abuja, where it decisively and effectively put in check the attempt by some unwanted persons considered as security risks to the nation.
Again, but for the misinformation dished out to the public to the effect that the Service carried out the operation with some foreign inputs, the DSS, it was gathered was more concerned and interested in achieving results and not craving for undue publicity.
While confirming the operation, the Spokesman for the nation’s Secret Service, Dr. Peter Afunanya, a core professional and brilliant officer, who is used to measured words in keeping with the ethics of the Service, pointedly denied insinuations that the raid was carried out as a joint operation with foreign military personnel.
Afunanya, who is not given to controversy, merely said; “It is true that an operation was carried out by the DSS operatives and the Nigerian military, but no foreign military personnel was involved”.
Giving further clarifications, Afunanya said; “It is not true that any bomb was recovered or anyone arrested during the operation in the said estate”.
Without any doubt, the DSS Spokesman’s clarification went a long way in dousing the tension created by the security alerts issued by the foreign missions in Nigeria as well as the fear that was further hyped by some media reportage.
The DSS’ position clearly put a lie to most of the social media reports that indicated that an eye witness, alleged to be a resident of the estate, by the name, Chigozie Eburuo, who said the sting operation was carried out by the DSS operatives in the early hour of Tuesday, October 25, 2022, during which they recovered bombs that were to be used to destroy churches and other places of importance.
In its usual style of not being interested in taking credit for every of its operation, the DSS confirmed that it is working with other security agencies to maintain peace and therefore counselled Nigerians to remain alert and assist security agencies with useful information regarding threats and suspicious criminal acts around them.
Specifically, the Service said it is working with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to maintain peace and order in and beyond Abuja.
In acknowledging the professional prowess of the DSS’ Director General, a serving Intelligence officer with another security agency, told this writer during a chat that if the nation can have two or three others in addition to the gentleman officer par excellence in the person of Mr. Yusuf Bichi, the nation will be better and happier for it.
For the intelligence officer, there is no denying the fact that the Kano state-born Chief Spy Master has continued to demonstrate commitment, diligence, and pro-activeness in tackling insecurity across the county.
According to the officer (who does not want his name in print for obvious reasons); “Mr Yusuf Bichi, has since assumption of duty, changed the dynamics of security intelligence gathering in the country as he is not interested in inter-agency rivalry but more committed to sharing needed intelligence to all relevant security agencies as at when due”.
He further said; “The only challenge is the fact that some of the other agencies do not act fast on the reports which usually leads to some consequences and disruption in the system. Be that as it may, Bichi’s headship of the DSS has brought about a change in curbing insecurity in the country and the results are there for all stakeholders to visualize and it is so visible.”
“I can tell you for free that no security agency in the country as of today, would complain of not getting adequate and advanced security intelligence. Lest we forgot, the so-called alert over terrorist threat issued by the USA and Britain Embassies recently was long issued in a more professional manner by the DSS without causing any form of panic and the Service has since then been working behind the scene to nip the possible threat in the bud,” the officer posited.
The above position was also clarified by the DSS Spokesperson, Dr. Peter Afunanya, who stressed that the Service had variously issued similar warnings in the past and therefore urged residents of Abuja to take necessary precautions and remain alert at all times.
Afunanya’s explanations came on the heels of several enquiries relating to the security advisories issued by the US Embassy and some other foreign missions in Abuja.
Without mincing words, the DSS and other security agencies surely deserve commendations and applauses from Nigerians for working tirelessly to keep the nation’s capital safe, give hope to the people, and create a conducive atmosphere for the public to go about their day-to-day activities unmolested and fear of possible insecurity threats.
…Dunia, a journalist, wrote from Abuja