Austin Aneke’s treatise on A brief History of Impunity and Lawlessness by SSS aka DSS not only reeks mischief but exhibits all shades of ignorance or failure to acknowledge the role of the Service in safeguarding the Nation’s stability. Not many understand the role and relevance of the SSS in Nigeria and Austin Aneke is sure one of those who does not. Little wonder he displayed this ignorance in the piece he authored. At least, Aneka accurately stated that the SSS is organised, designed, programmed and weaponised to protect the State.
However, the supposition that the agency oppresses the people it has a constitutional role to protect is indicative of the fact that he suffers from the Dunning-Kruger syndrome. It is worthy to note that the mission of the DSS is and has remained the protection and defense of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against domestic threats while upholding and enforcing the criminal laws of Nigeria. In the course of discharging this role, the DSS has constantly adapted to various functions necessitated by mitigating the evolving security threats including terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, Aneke’s understanding of lawlessness or impunity by the DSS is mostly attributed to operations conducted against his sponsors and those bankrolling him. Aneke and his likes are oblivious of the fact that democracy has indisputably provided veritable grounds for the rise of non-state actors, who under the guise of freedom fighters and CSOs, deploy subversive antics to disrupt and overthrow government. Some others, for pecuniary reasons engage in destructive activities with little consideration for its effects on national security.
Though the intentions of these persons and organizations may on surface level seem people-oriented and friendly, they underneath bear well thought-out orchestrations to destabilize the Nation.
It is for this reason that State agents are trained and equipped to decipher these threats and emplace measures to curtail them. How else can Aneke explain several coordinated attacks launched against security agents and sensitive government facilities by ESN that almost plunged the South East into a state of anarchy? Can Aneke explain what would have become of the South East in the hands of “Nnamdi Kanu’s BIAFRA” if DSS does not exhibit professionalism in handling security challenges? The weight and responsibility to ensure stability and internal security of the country falls on the DSS who must enforce its constitutional role to tackle threats that destabilize collective peace of the Nation. These similar tactics are adopted by the CIA, FBI, MI5-, FSB in maintaining stability of the country.
Where was Aneke when the Agency’ tactical and strategic operations led to the arrest of top criminal elements and Boko Haram commanders including Kabiru Sokoto, Husseini Maitangaran, Khalid al-barnawi, Bello Danhajiya amongst others? Is Aneke aware that in February 2013, the DSS broke up a terrorist cell led by Iranian handlers that was gathering intelligence for future attacks on American and Isreali targets in the country. In its intelligence gathering efforts and prompt dissemination, records have shown that the DSS proactively shares proactive information on security threats with strategic partners both within and outside the country. For instance, publicly available information shows that the DSS shared prior intelligence on the 2011 bombing of an international facility in Abuja. The attack was said to be successful due to the failure by top officials of the Facility to implement suitable safeguards.
Other notable operational successes including the arrest of Omar Mohammed Ali Rezaq, the mastermind of the 1993 bombing of an EgyptAir plane in the US is credited to the Services past leadership. The arrest and subsequent deportation of six Pakistani proselyters by the DSS in Benue and another itinerant preacher in Taraba state are evidences of its efforts to mitigate extremist ideology and fundamentalism in the country. What would have become of the South West in the hands of the run-away fugitive Sunday Adeyemo (aka Igboho) if DSS were not proactive?
Despite these glaring successes recorded by the Agency, Aneke and his cohorts continue to subject the DSS in what appears more like programmed criticism. It is however not unexpected as the DSS continues to amplify efforts to maintain stability of the country thereby making it unfavorable for their destabilizing businesses to thrive.
For a discerning patriot to determine and suggest that the DSS is lawless (regardless of documented milestones) and must be demonized is the height of unpatriotism. For any citizen, to even visualise the scenes that preceded #EndSARS protest and further suggest a re-occurence to buttress an imaginary brutal nature of the DSS only gives us out as people who draw wages from destroying the Nigerian entity.
Curiously, Austin Aneke and his likes in the Diaspora are mostly responsible for disparaging the Nigerian government and its revered security institutions. Nigerians who live in Nigeria, who face the threats posed by imperialists, separatists and religious extremists are thankful to the DSS and other security agencies for their loyalty and sacrifices to country and citizens. As we pace towards a stable democracy and a system that runs on the rule of law, it is important for citizens to censor security agencies on the basis of fairness.
Solomon Semaka is the Convener of Save Nigeria Movement (SNM)