Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The Director-General of the Department of State Services, Mr Yusuf Bichi, has warned “unpatriotic elements” against actions that threatened national security, stressing that the service would ensure that the unity and corporate existence of the country remained inviolable.
Bichi called on individuals and groups to join hands with security and other law enforcement agencies to enthrone peace and order in the country.
The spymaster spoke at the graduation ceremony for participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course at the National Institute for Security Studies, Abuja, on Saturday.
A total of 50 participants drawn from the security and intelligence sector, para-military, and other agencies graduated from the 10-month course, which commenced at the NISS on February 10.
Among the graduands, who were awarded fellow, security institute, were two participants from Ghana, and The Gambia.
In his address, Bichi enjoined the graduands to bring the knowledge acquired during the period of their study to bear on their various places of work, in a bid to enhance security and public safety.
He reminded those criticising the security agencies over the insecurity across the nation that it was difficult to enter places of worship or relaxation centres without apprehension of what may likely happen, a few years ago.
“We must not let selfish people with greedy interest destroy our collective heritage”, the DGSS warned.
He noted, “We must not allow unpatriotic elements to bring our country down. So, let us unite individually and collectively to address our challenges, and build a better nation for ourselves, our children and their generation.
“We all have contributions to make in ensuring that Nigeria becomes safe, peaceful and developed.
“The criticisms about the security agencies; people don’t appreciate from where we were, and where we are now.”
He, however, assured that that stage in the nation’s history, where citizens were not sure of what to expect as they step out of their homes would never return again.
“Gone were the days that when you enter a mosque or church and find a polythene bag, you are scared. In fact, you will never be comfortable praying with that bag around.
“That is now history, and it is through the combined efforts of the security agencies and other stakeholders, that we were able to achieve that.
“You go to a place of relaxation, and you are scared of explosives here and there. That, now, is history.
“Those calling for dismantling of this country are deliberately not being mindful of what is on their dining table,” he said.
Also speaking, a former DGSS, Mr Afakirya Gadzama, expressed optimism that the military and security agencies in the country have the capacity to deal with the security challenges besetting the nation.