Not the SSS I have served, By Robert-Sam Isaiah 

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​In the last few months I have watched as various reports about the Department of State Services (DSS) have made its way to the public space. As a personnel of the Service who is set to retire next month after thirty-five years of active Service, I am deeply saddened that my dear Service is being dragged in the mud.

I have always wondered if this was the same SSSthat produced respected men like AbdullahiMohammed (Maj.Gen/rtd), Alh. Umaru Ali Shinkafi, CON of blessed memory, IsmailaGwarzo (AIG/rtd), Chief AK Horsfall, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwoduah, OFR, and many other prominent and respected personalitiesincluding the present crop of distinguished Men and Officers.

 

2. ​I am pained about the nature of lies being dished out in the public on daily basis. Irony is these lies are being believed by gullible and unsuspecting members of the public. If you don’t hear that salaries and allowances are no longer paid, one will hear that operations are not funded or that there is a mass resignation for lack of training, inspiration, motivation and other nonexistent lies and reasons. Na wa o!!!

 

3. ​I am not the spokesperson of the DSS, and I have observed that the Service hardly responds to public criticism since the inception of this new leadership. I do not know what has informed this style, but I am so disturbed that I feel a sense of duty to go public. This is on my own. No one has asked me to. I am driven by my patriotic zeal to defend the only organization I gave all my strength, youthful energy and pride. I do not know how the DGSS and his management team will feel about this write up, but I am not going to hide any longer and I urge all compatriots and lovers of the Service to speak up and say the truth about our beloved SSS.

 

4.​ In the course of my stay in the SSS, I have had the privilege of being exposed to government bureaucracies, international system and this is the story of every personnel of this Service. This organization gives you opportunities for career advancement and development through diverse trainings within and outside the country.

 

5.​Having stated these, I wish to unofficially address some of the issues raised in recent media reports, and this is from a first person narrative. The SSS is probably the only government agency that pays its staff salary before the 24th of every month and this is verifiable from the banks. This is as a result of Management’s commitment to staff welfare. To the best of my knowledge, all statutory allowances – course, housing, leave, duty, travel – are paid as and when due. Recently, outfit allowance was paid, same as incentive.

 

6.​ As a government Institution whose operations are guided by the Constitution, the Service adheres to the principle of federal character. From the recruitment of cadet officers/other ranks, to the staff deployment at the National Headquarters and across the State Commands, deliberate efforts are made to ensure equitable, just and fair distribution. I am aware the SSS is run on merit first and foremost. Nepotism therefore exists only in the minds of a few mischievous and cowardly individuals.

 

7.​ Staff motivation does not end at paying salaries and other emoluments. Modern, state-of-the-art equipment have been acquired, while technological prowess of staff have been improved upon to ensure operational efficiency.

These have in the recent past, led to the arrest of high profile criminals and terrorists like AL-BARNAWI, Nigeria’s most wanted person. In addition to adequately funding all covert and overt operations, the Service maintains viable intelligence networks and safe houses from where strategic intelligence is procured and disseminated to sister agencies such as the Police and Military. This is a function of the professionalism that is at play within the Service.

 

8. ​Let me reiterate that training is one area the Service takes very seriously. There are currently several ongoing courses at the various training Institutions across the country. This is in line with the determination of the current management to enhance the capacity of its personnel to deal with emerging security challenges. In addition, the Training Institutions owned by the SSS have witnessedincreased participation from various security, law enforcement, regulatory bodies as well as government agencies. For instance, its Executive Intelligence Management Programme at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is modeled after similar ones run by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) and the National Defence College (NDC).

 

9. ​On the issue of accountability, it should be noted that the Service, like every other MDA presents and defends its budget before the National Assembly. The implementation of these budgetary provisions is monitored by the House and Senate Committees on Intelligence, as part of their oversight functions.

 

10. ​Patriotism is the watch word of the Service and is highly encouraged by the management. Deriding its leadership is a great disservice as it hurts not the individual, but the Institution. In the words of the great philosopher and author, Elbert Hubbard, “If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him! If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him – speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of the time, and the rest of the time work against him. I would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

If you must vilify, condemn and eternally disparage, why, resign your position, and then when you are outside, damn to your heart’s content. But I pray you, as long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution — not that — but when you disparage a concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself.

More than that, you are loosening the tendrils that hold you to the institution, and the first high wind that happens along, you will be uprooted and blown away in the blizzard’s track — and probably you will never know why – – – Get Out or Get in Line.”

 

11.​ As far as there is life and the entity called Nigeria exists, there will always be SSS. So why don’t we join hands now and more than ever to serve with honour and glory so that God will help us. Those of us already on our way out encourage those we are leaving behind to live above board and discharge their duties responsibly. This is not about LawalMusa Daura, the current DGSS.

 

Robert-Sam Isaiah currently serves in Kaduna Command of the SSS

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