To understand the tedious tasks handled by the number one officer of the DSS, one need a brief introduction of what the agency entails, its duties and responsibilities. Having such knowledge will enable the reader to appreciate the efforts put forth by personnel of the agency.
The State Security Service (SSS) which is popularly known as the Department of State Services (DSS) is the primary domestic intelligence agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is primarily responsible for intelligence gathering within the country and for the protection of senior government officials, particularly the President and state Governors. The Department of State Services is one of three successor Organizations to the National Security Organization (NSO) which was dissolved in 1986. The DSS operates as a department within the presidency and is under the control of the National Security Adviser.
It was Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida who in June 1986 issued Decree Number 19, dissolving the National Security Organization (NSO) and re-structuring Nigeria’s security services into three separate entities under the Office of the Co-ordinator of National Security. The State Security Service (SSS) was made responsible for domestic intelligence, with its pioneer Director General Isma’ila Gwarzo and Deputy Director Lt. Col. A.K. Togun. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) handled external intelligence and counterintelligence. The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was responsible for military-related intelligence outside and inside Nigeria. The first headquarters of the agency was located at 15, Awolowo road, Ikoyi in Lagos; this site currently houses the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The SSS headquarters was finally moved to Abuja during the Military regime of General Sani Abacha, the headquarters complex is informally known as the “Yellow House”.
One of the number one missions of the DSS is to protect and defend the Federal Republic of Nigeria against domestic threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of Nigeria, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to both federal and state law-enforcement organs. The SSS has constantly adapted to various roles necessitated by evolving security threats in Nigeria including counter-terrorism and counter-insurgent.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday 14th September 2018 named Yusuf Magaji Bichi as the new Director-General of the Department of State Service. Bichi replaces Matthew Seiyefa who was appointed by then Acting President, Vice-President Yemi Osinbanjo as Acting Director-General of DSS following the sack of Lawal Daura by the VP on August 7.
When he was newly appointed as the substantive DG of DSS, the presidency described Yusuf Bichi as a core operative of the secret service. This shows that, the appointment of Bichi was a strategic one, guided by a critical choice made by the President.
Since Bichi assumed office as the DG DSS he has so far recorded tremendous achievements and shaped the directions of the intelligence agency towards the right direction. The DSS under Bichi’s watch has recorded some successes in combating kidnapping in Nigeria with the arrest of some kidnappers and the rescue of their victims. The agency had rescued a large number of victims and made lots of arrests of kidnappers and their informers across the country.
The gentleman Yusuf Bichi Magaji hails from Bichi Local Government in Kano State. He attended Danbatta Secondary School, Kano State College of Advanced Studies and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated with a degree in Political Science.
Yusuf Magaji Bichi began his career in the security division of the Cabinet Office in Kano, from where he joined the defunct Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO), the precursor of the present DSS.
Bichi has undergone training in intelligence processing analysis, agent handling recruitment and intelligence processing in the UK, as well as strategic training at the National Defence College.
The new DSS boss comes to the job with skills in intelligence gathering, research analysis, conflict management, general investigation, risk and vulnerability operations, counter intelligence and protective operation and human resources management.
In the course of his career, Mr. Bichi has worked as the state Director of Security in Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto and Abia states.
He was at various times the Director, National Assembly Liaison (National War College), Director at national headquarters in the Directorate of Security Enforcement, Directorate of Operations, Directorate of Intelligence, Directorate of Inspection and Directorate of Administration and Finance.
Bichi also served as Director at State Service Academy. He is happily married and has children.
Bichi is a God fearing person and a great Nigerian that operate within the ambits of the nation’s law. Despite all political challenges and manufactured crimes, Bichi with his vast experience, has technically defeated the actors that were bent to destroy peace in Nigeria.
I could remember the time when Bichi was in Lagos, and after he left the National Headquarters from Lagos to Bauchi, he was at then nicknamed by students as the ‘Last Hope’. Bichi also contributed immensely to the Presidential fight against corruptions and economic sabotage, by providing effective intelligence for proper constitutional actions.
Gidado is the Director Communications and Strategic Planning,
Presidential Support Committee (PSC).