By Alex Ekemenah, Chief Analyst
The events of the last few weeks dating from the Shiite protests on the streets of Abuja in July to the current RevolutionNow led by Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and a former presidential candidate of African Alliance Congress in the last general elections, have been breath-taking.
As the situation stands now, it is probably no more “Free El-Zakzaky” that rent the air few weeks back. It is now “Free Sowore Now”. Nobody knows whose turn it would be tomorrow as Buhari administration stumbles from one crisis to the other, picking up quarrels with various social groups along the line.
When I first saw the short video on Sowore’s “#RevolutionNow” sometimes last week, I did not hesitate to dismiss it as a joke. What was this one about now? I did not attach any significance to it. In the video in which Sowore appeared with one Abdulkareem, I could not help considering them as jesters. I did not even initially recognize Sowore until I looked closely. Abdulkarreem did most of the talking in this particular video. They were talking about revolution now! Which revolution, I asked myself? Revolution wetin? I simply laughed it off and forgot about it. And honestly speaking, I don’t think anybody should have taken this matter seriously beyond that point, even if they eventually come out to the street as they did on Monday, August 5, 2019. Why?
Sowore’s African Alliance Congress not only joined other parties to adopt Atiku Abubakar-led PDP but actually scored 33, 953 votes (0.12% of the total votes counted)
There is no statistical evidence that the membership of his party has increased since February till date. Is this the number of people that want to start a revolution now? Where was Sowore coming from? What does he really have in mind? Should he ever be taken serious by any reasonable person? Why was Government jittery? Was it because of the word “revolution” and the timeline “now”?
While the reaction of the State is quite understandable, with its iron fist pummeling the hapless protesters we must also try to understand where this #RevolutionNow is actually coming from.
Without doubt, there is huge resentment and anger in the country caused mainly by the Buhari administration’s progressive incapacity to govern in a democratic manner, its bullying tactics when it comes to emerging oppositions but foot-dragging, or “go-slow” mental groove when it comes to administration of the country, etc.
Thus, #RevolutionNow is a sign of the times we are in Nigeria. It’s an earth tremor, a signal coming from the bowel of the earth, literally speaking, a foreboding of worse things to come if this government continues in its current tardy way of governance.
The Nigerian State is a sinking ship and the #RevolutionNow is a bugle! An alarm that the ship is capsizing!
The moment the Government heard revolution now, it started frothing in the mouth like an epileptic patient, falling into paroxysm of dying. Oh! No. The end of the world has come! We must fight back, etc! We will not allow revolution to overtake or overthrow us! Over our dead bodies!
Everybody also started quibbling over the word “revolution”, what it means and does not mean, offering their various interpretations. Of course, it did not take long before civil society organizations jumped onto the bandwagon, mouthing their various slogans and putting pressure on the government to rethink its stand.
Anybody is free to call his/her movement revolutionary when in reality it is not. It is easy to create illusionary or delusionary situation for oneself, revel in it and proclaim to the high heavens from the rooftops that it is something special never seen before called a revolution. After all, we have all been treated to the deceit called “change” when it was actually a chimera or complete falsehood (essentially because of lack of sincerity behind it). After four years, the public eyes have become opened as there has been no noticeable change anywhere. It is business as usual. The “change” has now changed to something called “Next Level”! Why and how do we deceive ourselves so easily and cheaply is an inexplicable conundrum. In short, are we not been foolish in our make-beliefs?
Nigeria has been lurching from one crisis to another under this administration with everything pointing towards a social upheaval. #RevolutionNow”, “#DaysofRage” and “#OrangeRevolution” including even the Shiite protests that happened last month are all harbingers of this social upheaval. This social upheaval may happen with or without any known direction. It can come without being prepared or predetermined i.e. spontaneously. In this case anything can spark it off. Or it may come with advance preparation by a leadership that has set the goals and is ready to make sacrifices even at the cost of the lives of the leaders.
Thus the real revolution has not come at all. When it comes, it will shake the country to its depth. It will be an awakening to new lease of life, from the skullduggery of the current times; from the sleepwalking that all of us have been doing since 1999 till date.
There is nothing revolutionary so far about #RevolutionNow, #DaysofRage and #OrangeRevolution. They are mere barefooted movements of people increasingly getting disenchanted by the growing state failure in Nigeria. It is only meant to draw attention to the ongoing degeneration of governance in the country under this current administration. This is not the Russian October Revolution of 1917 that gave birth to Soviet Union. This is not Maoist Revolution that gave birth to modern China, etc. It is what can be called Jankara or Oshodi Motor Park touts’ riot (apology to all the people involved in the #RevolutionNow protests) that often flares up from time to time and died off without making any meaningful impact on the existing policy and decision-making institutional frameworks and templates.
Should anybody in his/her reasonable mind believe that Sowore would commit self-immolation, martyr himself by setting himself ablaze on the street (as a hallmark of his conviction) given his petty-bourgeois background and business worldview? Can he do it: or was just a figment of his riotous imagination to make himself more popular than he had been during the last general election? What is the premise of this pronouncement, its ideological basis?
Was the planned protest meant to be violent? Did it have in mind to cause chaos and/or anarchy or seek to overthrow the government as feared by Buhari administration? Has there really been a breach of the law? Under what provisions of the law Sowore would be charged? This set of questions can only be answered in the negative. Sowore did not at any point in time and anywhere stated that he was seeking to overthrow the regime in power through revolution and nothing in his public statement can be so technically and/or substantively interpreted to mean that he was seeking to overthrow the Federal Government or Buhari administration. His only offence was that he was seeking to start a revolution which he did not also clearly define except the usage of the hashtag #RevolutionNow. Thus he cannot by any stretch of imagination be accused of treasonable felony in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution or the corollary Criminal Code.
Anybody that believes Sowore would or could commit suicide on the street should have his/her head examined!
I have read quite a bit of anti-Sowore commentaries mainly originating from pro-Buhari, pro-government apologists on the social media. I simply dump them into the trash can! But I am not in support of the rabble-rousing, incoherent or disarticulated #RevolutionNow protesters. However, what the #RevolutionNow symbolized is the failure of this government to do the needful to earn the support of the Nigerian public that is progressively disappearing for this government. Government is reasonably afraid of the fast disappearing public support and has been consistently its hidden repressive fangs/claws.
#RevolutionNow is not anywhere near the capability of moving the tectonic plates of the political system in the country today. The Federal Government with particular reference to the DSS is just been frightened at the storm looming on the horizon. The political environment is already badly fractured. What Buhari did in 2007 and 2011 by going to court for electoral adjudication is now taking place in 2019, this time around by Atiku Abubakar-led PDP. The pendulum is swinging and nobody knows where the pendulum will be at the end of the day. Buhari is secretly and justifiably afraid of what might be the outcome of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. The balance of political forces in the country is not currently too favourable and that probably account for its recent repressive reactions to street protests.
Take for instance the multiplicity of political parties in the last general elections – the highest so far in the country in the sordid political history of this country. Consider the votes gathered by these sundry political parties. One justifiably starts to wonder where these parties are coming from, what they want and ere they go from here. There is no unifying philosophical worldviews binding these parties except their perceptible narrow and selfish interests quantified in terms of pecuniary gains. Shame!
Nigeria and her Internal Security
But what really is this thing called national or internal security that Sowore was being accused to have threatened, according to the DSS?
The term “national” or “internal” security has been vaguely or loosely defined and the end-result of the mental acrobatics depends on one’s standpoint either on the pedestal of the government or from the public intellectual standpoint.
Thus what is known as internal security has no universal definition. It is largely determined by what is perceived to constitute threats to national security and public safety by the ruling regime. But it can summarily be defined as the policy and institutional process including structure and administrative system put together to protect internal security of a nation from domestic threats capable of destabilizing the corporate existence of the nation.
Internal security is the act of keeping peace within the borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories generally by upholding the national law and defending against internal security threats.
Law enforcement is actually the activity of making certain that the laws of an area are obeyed. So law enforcement agency can be described as an organization or institution that sees to the activity of making certain and/or sure that the laws of the state (and/or Nigeria) are obeyed.
It is important to state that virtually every nation in the world has an internal security service as well as other relevant intelligence services devoted to specific duties.
But more often than not, the government’s standpoint embodies anything remotely that contains the probability of threats to the regime in power. This is often given the legal cloak and that is why the Constitution is often quoted as the source of legitimacy of their position which contains the perception of such threats. So, here we are dealing with probability of threats or the perception of such threats which often stand diametrically opposed to empirical reality or actual experience of such a reality. Essentially, we are dealing with mental process and thought-forms that have either manifested as actual experience or not.
In this case, Sowore was already arrested and detained as a “preventive measure” (“We will not stand idly by while Sowore and his group threaten social cohesion”, etc, according to the DSS) before the actual experience of the threats to internal security. The street protests in some cities across the country were a manifestation and escalation caused by the arrest and detention of Sowore two days before the street protests were billed to take place.
For the position of the DSS to be valid, it must make public the actionable intelligence upon which it acted to arrest and detain Sowore. The arrest and detention of Sowore was not based on any actual commitment of a crime. It is presupposition to assume he was going to commit a crime, the nature and type that the DSS did not know as the time it ordered the arrest and detention of Sowore. There was no evidence of conspiracy to commit any crime. No crime has been committed. So the arrest and detention were exercise in futility aimed at showing the public that the DSS is workin, to earn public credit, etc. Nothing more! This is the idiocy of the highest order that the nation has to cope with. The discerning public is not fooled by such subterfuge.
If a “reverse engineering” of this case is carried out, the result would be that it is the law enforcement agencies and led by DSS in this case (in the case of the Shiite protest in Abuja on July 20, 2019, it was the Police that led it –thus we can see an empirical case of inter-agency rivalry based on jealousy, etc) that have caused, stoke, spiked and escalated the embers of opposition against the government by their inelegant actions, inactions or commission or omission of shooting at peaceful protesters, who in turn would go back home resenting the government the more without pacification in any way. Government, therefore, often act in clumsy manners that end up threatening the very internal security it swore to protect. This is the insane irresponsibility because government reacted not proactively but in an inverse manner that generates further frictions in the society (rather than social harmony it want to protect or achieve), generates further opposition to government itself because the initial resentment against the government is further strengthened by the reactionary punitive measures the government has undertaken as a conflict resolution mechanism.
The resentment and anger are not in any way suppressed but rather they are driven underground where they will further metabolize, morph and metastasize – and one way or the other will find an outlet to the surface later in the future. This could be more damaging because the opposition will come out well-prepared in advance, determined to achieve its goal or at least make impact that will shake the government to its core. Then the opposition could justifiably call itself “revolutionary” or whatever adjectival terminologies it wants to deploy to describe its activities.
DSS did not do a fifth-generation or 5-dimension analysis of the substantive uncertainty contained in the #RevolutionNow. It did not even do a second-generation analytical thought-process. What it did was simply typical of banana Republics under military despotism neatly wrapped up under the toga of flowing agbada/babaringa of this Buhari administration. DSS did not factor in democratic tenets or value judgment required to ameliorate crisis or opposition to the government. It did not take into consideration the democratic values encapsulated by the fundamental human rights of the citizens or specific individuals – exactly the same way the Nigerian State acted in the case of Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. This government has no iota of respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizens.
These are very serious matters because it reaches deep into the dirty philosophical realm in which this government often derive its reasoning and justification for its inelegant actions or inactions/bad behaviours.
The DSS approach is very crude to say the least. There is no refinement in it at all. The approach falls within the same Government-centric conventional applied definition and framework of internal security – a government-centric worldview hardened by deployment of habiliment of hard power to intimidate and suppress the opposition. There is no evidence of element of soft and smart power approach to showcase the refinement the DSS might have undergone over the years.
(When I was listening to Mr. Peter Nnochirionye Afunanya, the spokesman for the DSS on Sunday night of August 4, 2019 on Channels TV, I could not help smiling indulgently at those clichés deployed by him to describe the action taken by the DSS. They were very similar (I did not say precisely) to those I heard in late 80s when Ibrahim Babangida was in power during those years his military regime was having “issues” with university lecturers and students then.)
Since the return to civil democratic rule in mid-1999, Nigeria has gradually become a bedlam, volatile and vulnerable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – in short “VUCAed” – due to certain dynamics, factors, forces or vectors. Criminality and hybrid insurgency has become rampart across all parts of the country as an order of the day. Nobody is really safe. Therefore, it is not surprising that criminal activities of all descriptions are on the rise, showing the growing helplessness of the security agencies at arresting the rising wave of crimes in Nigeria.
Security agencies are at their wits’ end. Security agencies are first of all intellectually empowered to understand the criminal mindset in order to proactively combat it in advance or when it happens on the spot. They are also organizationally empowered in terms of professional training, equipment, large budgetary allocations and welfare to be able to deal with criminal activities when and where they might occur.
None speaks to this state of helplessness more poignantly than the State Security Service (SSS) popularly known as Department of State Security (DSS) charged with the task of protecting the internal security of Nigeria through domestic intelligence gathering and analysis.
The political environment is most unsettled. While the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is still holding session, the Shiites trooped out to the streets of Abuja and others to demand the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. Scores of protesters were killed in Abuja, including a Police ACP after which they were branded terrorists by the Federal Government through the Court. Hardly has the protest died down than Omoyele Sowore-led #RevolutionNow was announced.
Federal Government became rattled. It naturally fears anything with the hashtag or smell “revolution”. It is no wonder that the Federal Government sent out all the law enforcement agents to go after the would-be protesters, promising fires and brimstones on anybody caught on the streets.
Omoyele Sowore was promptly arrested by Department of State Security, the nation’s secret police.
DSS and Internal Repression
Between 1976 and 1986, the internal security responsibilities in Nigeria were divided among the NSO, a central state security organ reporting to the President; the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Nigerian Police Force; and the Ministry of Defence.
The NSO was the sole intelligence service for both domestic and international security during its ten-year existence i.e. from 1976 to 1986. It was charged with the detection and prevention of any crime against the security of the state, with the protection of classified materials, and with carrying out any other security missions assigned by the President.
The Nigerian intelligence community was an instrumental part of the former authoritarian regimes. Political espionage, surveillance of citizens, and detention of political dissidents was commonplace, thus gathering criticisms for its brutality from the international community.
However, on June 5, 1986, the National Security Organization was dissolved by Ibrahim Babangida military regime. He had earlier promised in his maiden speech in August 1985 that he would restructure the organization.
The NSO was thus broken and restructured into three new bodies namely: State Security Service, National Intelligence Agency and Defence Intelligence Agency.
The three bodies were brought under the supervision of an Office of Coordinator of National Security.
The new State Security Service (SSS) was made responsible for intelligence-gathering within Nigeria, while the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence. Finally, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was for military-related intelligence within and outside the country.
Comparatively, Nigeria’s DSS is equivalent of the following internal security agencies of some countries: American FBI, British M15, French DGSI, German BfV, Israeli Shin Beth, Egyptian NSA, and Ghanaian BNI.
The DSS as well as others were born at the very critical watershed of military despotism in Nigeria.
But since the creation of DSS and other intelligence agencies, there is hardly a year without getting involved in form of embarrassing controversy or the other by the DSS – and every time with its head buried in public shame.
A SWOT analysis of DSS would summarily reveal thatits successes constitute its strength. SWOT which stands for strength, weakness, opportunity and threats is a business model used to carry out performance appraisal of an organization.
The mission of the SSS is to protect and defend the Federal Republic of Nigeria against domestic threats, to uphold and help enforce the criminal laws of Nigeria, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to both federal and state law-enforcement organs.
SSS is also charged with the protection of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, State Governors, their immediate families, other high ranking government officials, past presidents and their spouses, certain candidates for the offices of President and Vice President, and visiting foreign heads of state and government a mandate which gives the agency upper hand when it comes to security of VIPs.
DSS agents are usually well trained. They undergo shooting marksmanship, driving, goes for undercover, maintains body guard operation, among many other confidential operations.
Notwithstanding the high mission, the security agencies particularly the DSS remained deficient in intelligence collection and analysis capabilities; they also were poorly equipped to counter growing security threats, such as covert foreign operations, dissident movements, and border violations.
DSS has tried without success to shape and reshape the political environment with regard to domestic (internal) security. Unfortunately, all its activities have only succeeded in drawing the ire of the public for obtrusiveness and clumsy handling of internal threats to national security. It has not been able to stop the outbreak of Boko Haram and its transition to ISWA, Fulani herdsmen attack across the country, Zamfara killings, Shiite protest, etc. It has violated with impunity the fundamental human rights of the citizens over the years and the courts have never hesitated to hammer agency where necessary.
Essentially, the DSS has been able to outlive the authoritarian culture in which was born, nurtured and grew up to its present Frankenstein status. DSS constantly live in the past, ossified in the dirigisme of its own-created world of authoritarianism, impunity and recklessness.
But more significant and worrisome too is the fact that with twenty years civil rule, in fact since the security agencies were created in 1986, all past governments to the present have never consider it imperative to reform any of the security agencies. The security architecture of the nation remains what it has been since 1986 to date, with the apparachiki constantly dominated by one section of the country over the other sections. And yet there is no peace in the country at any point in time. The national security apparatus was a carry-over or inherited from the era of military rule. For the security agencies, it is always business as usual. The security agencies have demonstrated their collective impotence and incompetence at tackling modern security challenges. There is a sense in which one can justifiably say that our security agencies have been participis criminis in the security challenges confronting the nation in the last forty years given the various incidences whereby members of the security agencies are found collaborating with criminal elements in one form or the other, from one degree to the other.
The operatives from the agency have overbearing attitudes towards the public owning to the amount of power arrogated to them and thus making it difficult for the agency to get invaluable actionable intelligence on which it base its actions or synergy with other security agencies in the country. The DSS operatives are considerably arrogant in vulgar manner that make it difficult for people to offer them intelligence information.
The fact is that all our security agencies, notably the DSS, have not iota of respect for democratic values, fundamental human rights of the citizens and public decency. For instance, was it not the same DSS that invaded the National Assembly last year August for which the Director General of DSS, Mr. Lawan Daura was sacked by the Acting President then, Professor Yemi Osinbajo?
Till date, DSS has not been able to tell Nigerians what it really knows about Boko Haram (ISWA), Zamfara State killings, Fulani herdsmen attacks across the country, IPOB, etc. Neither has it been able to tell Nigerians what it did or did not do to help stem the tidal wave of insecurity in the country driven by sundry terrorist and insurgent groups, criminal elements and separatist movements.
But when it comes to some peaceful protests by one group or the other, we see DSS coming out in full rage to flex its muscle like Goliath or like a ferocious attack of the State that it is actually. What a shame!
But the greatest weakness of the DSS lies in a realm often inaccessible to the public viz: its intelligence analytical framework. What is missing here are elements of critical thinking required for a modern intelligence agency to able to safeguard national security within the parameters set by democratic tenets and values or within the ambit of the rules and regulations laid down for its operation. “Critical thinking – as it is here defined and developed – provides part of the solution as it encourages careful consideration of the available evidence, close examination of presuppositions and assumptions, review of the alternative implications of decisions, and finally, discussion of alternative solutions and possibilities. In short, it equips intelligence professionals with an essential tool for their work” (Moore, D. T.: Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analysis, Washington DC, National Defence Intelligence College, Occasional Paper Number 14, March 2007, p. vii).
But the problem here is “As one would expect, the Intelligence Community has spent a fair amount of time about how it does analysis. But most of this has been spent on techniques, presentation and outcomes; much less has been spent on what happens intellectually while you are thinking. That, indeed, is what critical thinking is about: the ability to step out of one’s thoughts, if you will, to examine them and the process that brought them about even while you are thinking them. It does not require some higher level of cosmic consciousness or a split personality. It does require training and thought! So now we are thinking about our thinking while we are thinking – a mental triple play, if you will. This is no mean feat and it is a very crucial skill for intelligence analysis” (p. x).
Jeffrey Cooper, a Technical Fellow at the Science Applications International Corporation, commenting on the above cited book called: “I urge the leadership of the Intelligence Community to place far more emphasis on structured analytic methods. In my view, the transformation of the intelligence enterprise demands a more curious, more agile, and more deeply thoughtful cadre of intelligence analysts – but it should also require the same traits among its intelligence organizations and the intelligence enterprise as a whole. Moore notes that “Investment in critical thinking as part of the analysis process minimizes the likelihood of specific failures”. However, from my perspective, critical thinking (and other structured methods) are more important for changing the organization’s overall approach to analysis, rather than in improving specific judgments or preventing particular failures.
“I believe such methods are crucial in preventing systemic analytic pathologies from developing, exactly because the Community lacks many of the desirable self-corrective mechanisms found in science. Second, while Moore focuses on the role of critical thinking in improving an individual analyst’s ability to make good judgments, my view emphasizes the importance of more rigorous processes for the organization as a whole if it is to improve its capacity to meet user needs. Indeed, given my emphasis on the systemic nature of the pathologies that afflict intelligence analysis, structured analytic methods become a first line of defense in preventing networks of errors – they are like “ripstops” that keep problems from propagating into wider “error-inducing systems”, in Perrow’s terms. The quality of “mindfulness” and a more self-reflective process are essential if the intelligence organizations are to acquire some of the desirable characteristics of high-reliability organizations. While critical thinking can clearly assist individual analysts, and these “memes” can be spread through viral dissemination, I would place far more emphasis on fomenting social and organizational changes as remedies” (p. xiv).(It is also recommended to read the same Jeffrey Cooper’s article titled “Curing Analytic Pathologies: Pathways to Improved Intelligence Analysis”, Washington DC, Central Intelligence Agency, Centre for the Study of Intelligence, 2005; Steven Rieber and Neil Thomason: “Toward Improving Intelligence Analysis: Creation of a National Institute for Analytic Methods”, Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 4 (Winter 2006)
The agency prides itself in the field of domestic intelligence gathering and this is fine enough. It has monopoly of authority in her area which gives her edge over other security agencies in the country. The agency also works with other foreign intelligence agencies it has working relationship with especially in cases of visiting foreign presidents. This gives it the opportunity to expand its scope of knowledge.
Government security forces frequently harass, arrested, and detain editors and reporters from journals critical of the regime. On 4 November 1997 Adetokunbo Fakeye, defense correspondent for The News, was arrested. On 8 November, Jenkins Alumona, editor of The News, was arrested by SSS agents at a Lagos television station. On 9 November, Onome Osifo-Whiskey, managing editor of Tell magazine, was arrested by SSS agents in Lagos while driving to church with his children. On 29 October, Osifo-Whiskey had warned that the magazine had received a written death threat, which listed the names of 27 staff members. On 16 November, SSS agents arrested Babafemi Ojudu, editor of the News/Tempo.
The SSS has also been accused of repressing the political activities of opposition groups. Public meetings are arbitrarily canceled or prevented, including cultural events, academic conferences, and human rights meetings. On 25 September 1997, police and SSS agents broke up a Human Rights Africa (HRA) seminar for students in Jos, arrested HARA director Tunji Abayomi and 4 others, and briefly detained about 70 students. Abayomi and the others were held for 10 days and then released on bail. On 1st May 1998 workshop on conflict management in Port Harcourt was canceled when the SSS warned local coordinators that such a meeting could not be held on Workers Day, a local holiday. Similar workshops elsewhere proceeded unimpeded despite the holiday.
#RevolutionNow has suffered an ignominious ending, having been crushed by the iron fist of Buhari administration, followed by insane gloating, first by President Muhammadu Buhari himself and second by government apologists. DSS also gloated that it has successfully dispersed the protesting crowd, another score on its dirty chalkboard. But the crushing of the movement is actually beside the point. Yes. Government has succeeded in crushing it but suffered popularity loss that cannot be imagined.
The most worrisome situation now is that DSS is seeking judicial approval to detain Sowore for 90 days (three months) to conclude its investigation after which it will decide whether it has any ground to prosecute him or not. The court has been reported to have granted DSS 45 days to do so.
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (the umbrella body for the Shiites in Nigeria) has ended up been classified a terrorist organization, of course, not without the help of the court. Who now knows whether #RevolutionNow would be similarly as a terrorist organization? Sooner or later, all the citizens of the country would be classified terrorist except public civil servants working for the Government. After all, did we not hear from the President declaring that all Nigerian youths are a lazy lot?
The DSS has been in existence since 1986 without major reorganization or reform of its internal governance structures and processes. DSS has lasted longer than its predecessor, NSO. But the security landscape and threat spectrum has greatly changed over the decades. Niger Delta militancy, Boko Haram, MASSOB, MEND, IPOB and Zamfara conflicts including killings by Fulani herdsmen have emerged to individually and collectively threaten the internal security of the nation without the DSS being able to predict or stop any one of them due to nepotism and defective leadership. Hence, the need to carry out a genuine restructuring of the agency to make her stand among her peers in the intelligence community.
The main problem is that DSS suffers from rigidities and pathologies in its analytical and evaluation process in assessing social conflicts or crises. Because it makes wrong diagnosis all the times, DSS in all its public forays often end up embarrassing itself and the nation because of its gross incompetence at managing social crises. People are defined by the decisions they make. The vulgar height of notoriety DSS has attained over the years is the very hallmark of its mismanagement of social conflicts and crises.
This government is increasingly becoming paranoid on daily basis.
It is time for DSS to go through internal reforms to strengthen its capacity for outside-the-box intelligence analysis that will be enable it to predict outbreak of hybrid threats to the nation’s security.