Following the security challenges in the country, the Directors of State Commands of the Department of State Security (DSS) from the seven North states, converged in Kaduna, to restrategise against crimes.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai emphasized the role of DSS in providing reliable information needed by the police, Armed Forces and other security agencies for the total defeat of insurgents.
He urged security agencies to strengthen intelligence gathering, establish not just the identities, plans and locations of criminals, but actively disrupt their capacity to organise and unleash attacks.
The governor warned of the looming food crisis following the inability of farmers to access their farmlands.
Lamenting the lack of sustained cooperation among states in tackling the menace of insurgency, the governor said the criminal gangs terrorising the Northwest became more daring and dangerous since recovering from their near defeat in 2015 after the joint operation of the states stopped.
According to him, “As directors of the State Commands of the DSS in the Northwest, you are all aware of the immense security challenges across the states in our region. The consequences of these serious security deficits have devastated the rural economy, taken lives and property and made simple travel an ordeal across federal, state and local roads.
“Addressing this grave problem and restoring order require that security managers and intelligence agencies constantly share information and experiences. These criminals operate across state lines.
“Therefore, tackling them requires cooperation and collaboration by the various states. Any plan that seeks to address the problem only in one state will at best yield a temporary respite as the criminals retreat to safe havens in places where there are no active and continuous counter-insurgency operations.
“The governors of the Northwest states and Niger State appreciated this salient fact as far back as 2015. We came together to fund simultaneous operations by the federal military and security agencies across the largely ungoverned Kamuku-Kuyambana forest swathes that straddle about seven of our states up to Dajin Rugu in Katsina State.
“These operations disrupted the cattle rustling gangs but were unfortunately not sustained as a continuous exercise to dominate these spaces and assert within them the authority of the Nigerian state
“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 DSS 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.”
On his part, the Kaduna State Director of DSS, Idris Koya, said the periodic meeting was originated by the Director-General of the Service, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, to enable the directors come together and brainstorm on the changing spate of insecurity bedeviling the Northwest.
They also exchange ideas and proffer possible solutions that would aid in containing contemporary threats, effectively efficiently and with minimum cost.
He said, “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”, he stated.