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Yusuf Magaji Bichi: Celebrating a spymaster with a difference

By Dr. Mike Uyi

All that is required for Nigeria to make progress is when there is a commitment from those in positions of authorities to provide credible leadership in the task of nation-building.

In Nigeria today, few have distinguished themselves in this regard and without the pomp and pageantry, yet, making great sacrifices without expecting a thank you in return. They have carried on as servants of the people in the discharge of their responsibilities.

One such person is the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi(fwc), who qualifies to be called a true leader in all ramifications. He has done what others considered as rocket science. He has displayed that once there is a will, there would always be a way.

I doff my hat for Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi for how he has repositioned the Department of State Service (DSS), since he assumed leadership. He has not only done well, but he has also returned the Service to rightful position, with regards to the discharge of their duties.

Today the DSS is indeed a professional body that abides by the rules of engagement in its operations. This much is evident in the numerous successes recorded in across the country.

When magaji was appointed, the Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu said Magaji is a core Secret Service operative who began his career in the security division of the Cabinet Office in Kano, from where he joined the defunct Nigerian Security Organization (NSO), the precursor of the DSS. “Mr. Bichi has undergone training in intelligence processing analysis, agent handling recruitment and intelligence processing in the UK, as well as strategic training at the National Defence College.

This clearly shows that the DSS boss came to the job with skills in intelligence gathering, research analysis, conflict management, general investigation, risk and vulnerability operations, counter- intelligence and protective operation and human resources management.

In the course of his career, Mr. Bichi has worked as the State Director of Security in Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto and Abia States and he was at various times, the Director, National Assembly Liaison, (National War College), Director at National Headquarters in the Directorate of Security Enforcement, Directorate of Operations, Directorate of Intelligence, Directorate of Inspection and Directorate of Administration and Finance.”

His administration as the spy chief has silently breake new grounds in the discharge of his constitutional responsibilities and has been filling operation and perception gaps to enthrone a secured and harmonious Nigeria, which is the core objective of President Buhari.

Internally, Magaji has been paying painstaking attention to the welfare of officers of the service and that has literally jerked the moral and attention of staffers on the upward swing.

He brought to the fore his experience as a core secret service operative and among other things, has reorganised and rebranded the depreciating reputation of the agency in the eyes of the public. The secret police now operates with civility, integrity and core professionalism.

Without any reservations, the DSS have been proactive in the face of security challenges, occasioned by terrorism/insurgency, banditry, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cybercrime among others. Indeed all couldn’t be achieved without Magaji’s intelligence and knowledge driven leadership.

The recent disposition and professional role of the DSS in ensuring that the nation wasn’t grounded during the recent EndSARS protest, deserves commendation, as Magaji’s leadership has continued to ensure that threats and crimes against the internal security of Nigeria is eliminated or contained.

Worthy of note also, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), was upgraded to the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), by virtue of the Establishment Act (2019). By that development, the NISS has now been brought at par with policy-formulating institutes like the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), and the National Defence College (NDC).

The DSS under the leadership of Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi has effectively conducted counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations across the country.

It has also achieved similar feats in the areas of reducing economic crimes, internet and advance fee frauds, kidnapping, banditry, arms trafficking and militancy, amongst others.

It has sustained intelligence gathering efforts and aggressively participated in enforcement/joint operations with sister agencies. Some of its other widely reported achievements includes; intercepting terrorist elements that try to gain illegal entry into the country as well as disrupting terrorist cells; Intercepting a large cache of arms and ammunition in parts of the country; and investigating and prosecuting high profile security breaches across the country.

With the visible deliberate action plan to operate the state security service on strictly intelligence gathering, research analysis, conflict management, general investigation, risk and vulnerability operations, counter-intelligence, among others, there was no denying the truth that President Buhari pulled a masterstroke with Bichi’s appointment.

Nigeria is indeed blessed to have such man at this critical point of our existence. He is indeed gallant, and a unique breed which will take us a very long time to get in the service again. It consequently behoves on us to do all within our means to support and appreciate the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), and its leadership.

Dr. Mike Uyi is President General, Global Peace Movement International (GPMI), he wrote from London.

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