DSS directors meet in Kaduna as El-Rufai, commissioner call for synergy among agencies

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Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Thursday, called for high-level collaboration and cooperation among various security agencies in the State as well as North West zone to find a lasting solution to insecurity in the area.

 

El-Rufai noted that the need for collaboration among various security agencies to deal decisively with bandits has become imperative because criminals have become daring and dangerous ever than before.

Both El-Rufai and Aruwan spoke at the second quarter security meeting of the State Directors of Security in the North West zone of DSS, held in Kaduna.

This was even as the State Director of DSS, Kaduna, Idris Koya said it is imperative to reiterate that, Inter-Agency cooperation is sacrosanct to the DSS, as evident in the history of the Service.

While declaring the occasion open, El-Rufai said: ‘That the criminal gangs have become more daring and dangerous since recovering from their near defeat in 2015 is obvious across the country. As the lead agency for domestic intelligence and counter-intelligence, the Department of State Services has a vital role to play in providing the reliable information needed by the Police and Armed Forces and other security agencies for the total defeat of these dangerous insurgents.

‘This is an urgent priority, in the face of the looming food crisis that we face if our farmers do not go to the farms. The rains are here, but farmers in various communities are unable to go to their farms, that is when they are lucky not to have fled their remote villages under pressure and attacks from the criminals. This cannot be allowed to continue.

‘The security agencies need to strengthen intelligence gathering, to establish not just the identities, plans and locations of these criminals, but to actively disrupt their capacity to organise and mount attacks on our citizens. But it is also very important to ensure that prompt and coordinated action becomes the default response of the Armed Forces and the Police to the profusion of actionable intelligence that is already available from the DSS.

‘I wish to commend the State Security Service for holding these meetings and developing a collective perspective, rather than operating in silos. This is what we have tried to encourage across our military and security agencies here in Kaduna State. It is one of the major mandates of our Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs. Your host director Alhaji Idris Koya has been a consistent advocate of interagency synergy and I wish to acknowledge his efforts and the hard work of the officers of the SSS here in Kaduna State.

‘Security management is a thankless job, I received your reports every day I read them, and I know how many attacks or planned attacks that have been plotted, that have been stopped, people do not know about this, they only know when something happens. People always say our security agencies are doing nothing, but we know how many of you are killed in the line of duty, and I just want to say on behalf of the Government and people of Kaduna State, we appreciate you even if what you see in the media is lack of appreciation. We know you are doing your best; we will continue to do our best to support you because it is when you do your job when you stay awake all night that we are able to sleep with our eyes closed”.

According to Aruwan, ‘In our experience so far, several serious attacks could have been prevented if there was more robust collaboration within and amongst security agencies. There have been instances where available intelligence indicated a high likelihood of attacks by armed bandits, but due to lapses in collaboration, sadly the responses by security agencies fell through the gaps, leading to needless loss of lives and property. As such we have previously emphasised the need for greater inter-agency collaboration. Happily, we are seeing some significant improvement in this regard.

‘Our appeal to you today is that we all imbibe more than ever the essence of sharing and teamwork. In security management, every element is important, and in our situation, every Command is part of a system. As it is commonly said, “teamwork makes the dream work.” Each one brings a crucial piece to the intelligence puzzle, especially in these times when the challenges have blurred state lines and operate with no delineation between our territories.

‘The underlying psychology which we as State Governments and State Commands must work with at this time is that of “One Team, One Fight.”

‘Our states must work as one team because our fight has clearly become one fight. Anything less than a fully collaborative spirit may turn our best efforts into liabilities instead of assets to the entire security architecture.

‘From our intelligence gathering, we have discovered, and it is important for us to keep this in mind: criminals, bandits and terrorists are now collaborating more, to devastating effect. If they do, then should we not, as states, do the same? Our regional collaboration must also be mainly knowledge-centric.

‘We must realise that creating and leveraging superior knowledge in the fight against banditry and terrorism enables decision superiority, reduces operational risk, and increases the pace, coherence, and effectiveness of responses. From the perspective of the Government, this regional intra-agency collaboration is both a means of achieving an objective and an objective itself. The benefits to each state, to this agency, and even to sister security agencies, are numerous.

‘Closer collaboration will enable individual state governments to plan for adequate financial support to fill logistic and technical gaps. Specific collaborative agendas can also be developed to improve synergy.

‘Crucially, a central system of intelligence coordination can be created. This is the basis of the Kaduna State Government’s vision for a durable, purpose-built, cohesive response system which will upgrade security responses and provide a modern working security structure”.

Earlier in his welcome address, Koya said: ‘This periodic meeting was originated by the DGSS Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi, to enable the State Directors regularly come together and brainstorm on the changing spate of insecurity bedevilling the North West, exchange ideas and proffer possible solutions that would aid in containing contemporary threats, effectively efficiently and with minimum cost.

‘The region is currently confronted by security threats of kidnapping, armed banditry, insurgency, Farmers/herders conflicts, arms trafficking and several other contemporary security issues that require concerted effort to address, including the pivotal input of the respective State Governments.

‘Similarly, all our successful operations are made possible and easy through the requisite working tools provided by the State Government. The IMSI Grabber is one of such tools.

‘The current efforts by the State Government to establish a drone centre for intelligence gathering and support of other security operations is highly commendable and it is our hope that it will come into Service soon as it will be a game-changer in tackling security challenges not only in Kaduna State but the North West and even North Central Zones.

‘Your Excellency, I hope you will not get tired of supporting the Command with more working tools and upgrading the existing ones. The IMSI grabber currently in use is limited to 2G and sparingly 3G. However, service providers have since migrated to 3G and 4G, and are on the move to 5G hence there is a need to upgrade it in order to keep abreast of the new reality.

‘I will also, seek the indulgence of His Excellency to consider the Command for allocation of operational vehicles. The vehicles allocated to the Command in 2015 that are very supportive of the enforcement and communication intelligence unit are old and difficult to maintain.

‘Consequently impeding the Command from carrying out certain essential operations especially outside our immediate environment.

‘I will equally like to appreciate the mutual comradeship and Espirit de corps of our sister agencies most especially the synergy enjoyed between the Command and all of you that constitute a major segment of the consumers of our Intelligence product. It is imperative to reiterate here that, Inter-Agency cooperation is sacrosanct to the DSS, as evident in the history of the Service.

‘Such periodic meetings can further be expanded in the future to include all Heads of security agencies, with a view to providing a common forum where they can deliberate on security issues in the Region, review strategies towards containing contemporary threat pragmatically taking into cognisance the nature and dynamics of each threat. This will no doubt promote efficient utilisation of resources.’


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