The recent dust generated by the appointment of a Director General for the Department of State Services may have settled. So also, public outcry expressing sectarian and tribal bias over his emergence as the DGSS may have come and gone as the new man at the helm of affairs has assumed office. Anyone who has been in the intelligence or security circles would know that Mr. Bichi, armed with 35 years of experience, exudes professionalism, dedication and excellence. All these he demonstrated in his duty tours around the country during his career engagements in various capacities across different Departments, Directorates and Commands of the Service. He is a gentleman Officer, highly humane and approachable and with deep insight into the expertise of security and intelligence. His depth of personnel management easily endears him to officers and men of the Service as they remain at the heart of his policies and vision. This is his conviction and it is geared at creating the most conducive work environment and other motivations that would drive the workforce to achieve effectiveness and greater efficiency.
It goes without saying therefore, that he is not only experienced, but well suited to take on the job and deliver on expectations of an improved security for the nation. His emphasis on professionalism and discipline is instructive. He is firm without being authoritarian. His return to the Service as DGSS especially at a time when public confidence in the service seemed to be waning ostensibly brought back an air of excitement to staff who have latched on to his vision of restoring the Service to its pride of place. The spring in the step of operatives would surely be restored and their confident smiles point to their willingness to contribute meaningfully to the success of not only the Service, but the government in general.
For instance, while on his tour of duty as Director of Administration, several welfare packages were reactivated and reviewed for the benefit of staff. This was propelled by his astute belief that loyalty is boosted by motivation (which he believes is not only pecuniary benefits). He has mentored several fine Officers who have in their right passed on these tenets and uphold the values he stands for.
What should concern us therefore is that the SSS returns to its traditional way of doing things and remain at the background as the covert agency it should be. Rather than be dragged alongside the Police and other enforcement agents, Its core should focus on providing the direction’s that will ensure that people oriented policies are pursued by the government. In my opinion, this is a job perfectly cut out for Mr. Bichi. To Mr. Bichi, I say the task ahead maybe a herculean one, but I have complete faith that you will surmount the ethnic, religious and sentimental jabs thrown your way. Nigeria and indeed posterity are counting on you to build a Service that everyone, Officer or not, will be proud to be associated with. I urge you sir, to look beyond the myopic reasoning and interests of a few and embrace unity as your watch word. Soon, your detractors will be forced to pitch their tents on your divide. Rising through the ranks affords you the opportunity to understand the challenges of each cadre. Emphasis should be directed at training and building the capacity of Officers, while making room also for career enhancement. In doing so, you develop not only the staff and their output, but the Service and the nation. What stands out for me is that despite the huge outcry, not one person has questioned your capabilities as a leader of Nigeria’s SSS. Mr. Bichi, you are the man of the moment, and all eyes are on you. Soar and touch the sky.
–Akinbode is a retired personnel and wrote in from Abuja.
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