The Department of State Services (DSS), has raised an alarm over alleged plots to dent the image of its director-general, Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi, and members of his family.
A statement by the spokesman of the department, Mr. Peter Afunnaya, said part of the plot is to engage
Civil Society Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations to sustain attacks on Bichi and to stage rallies, road-shows and press conferences.
Afunanya said in a statement Tuesday morning: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has uncovered plans by some politicians and disgruntled elements within and outside the government to sponsor smear campaigns against the DGSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi CFR, fwc and his key officials over the Service’s uncompromising stance on some critical governance and policy issues.
“Those behind the plot have engaged Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations to not only sustain but stage further rallies, road-shows and press conferences and use the occasions to discredit Bichi.
“Also, sections of the media have been briefed to implement the strategy through sponsored articles, commentaries and features to malign the DG, his family and select officials of the Service.
“The Service is monitoring developments and will allow the plotters to either exhaust themselves or rescind the plan of action. Otherwise, no amount of intimidation, harassment and blackmail will deter it from discharging its duties.
“However, it would not idly watch a group of dissatisfied gang to undermine the Service and its highly dedicated Leadership and Management. The DSS, therefore, wishes to inform the public to be wary of these tendencies and ignore the antics of dark forces out to impugn the character of the DG.
“It restates its unalloyed support to the President on his resolve to continue to confront head-on, threats to national security as well as create the enabling environment necessary for the 2023 general elections to hold.”
But the DSS position may not be unconnected to an incident at the Kano International Airport involving the wife of the spy chief and a prominent local politician.
According to an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, Aisha Bichi, the wife of the director-general of the State Security Service, SSS, Yusuf Bichi, ordered the arrest of the Kano governorship candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Abba Yusuf, and barred him from boarding an Air Peace flight from Kano to Abuja on Sunday night.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the crisis began at the gate of the VIP lounge of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano when the motorcade of the politician caused traffic holdup, briefly delaying Mrs Bichi’s convoy from gaining swift passage into the controlled area.
Sources said the situation angered Mrs Bichi as her security guards started beating up people and hitting vehicles for “disrespecting Madam”.
Witnesses said as the dust began to settle, the NNPP candidate went into the lounge to meet her, being his wife’s friend, and complain about the personel’s untoward behaviour.
“No sooner had Abba approached her than she began raining insults on him. Although the state director of service attempted to calm her down, she continued pouring the expletives, saying she would not allow him to be a governor,” an eyewitness told this newspaper.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the situation worsened when she sighted a member of the politician’s entourage, Garba Kilo, filming the altercation with his phone. “As she saw Kilo taking a video, she immediately ordered the personnel to kill him, saying ‘kill him, and nothing will happen’.
“She further vowed that she would not allow Abba to board same flight with her tonight. As she continued shouting, the state director of DSS pleaded with Abba to cancel his trip and go back home.
“As Abba insisted on boarding the flight, a reinforcement of DSS personnel shortly arrived at the airport and cordoned off the lounge building. Some hefty-looking operatives then stormed into the lounge and told Abba that he was under arrest,” said the source.
Sources further told DAILY NIGERIAN that the police DPO in charge of the airport later arrived in company of his subordinates to investigate the incident and take statements from the parties involved in the clash.
“After Abba gave a statement, the DPO went to the left wing of the lounge to take her statement, but she declined, asking ‘do you know who I am? Who are you to even confront me to write a statement?
“The DPO later left without taking her statement,” said the source.
DAILY NIGERIAN learnt that the SSS operatives later released Mr Yusuf after the flight took off with the DG’s wife.
▪︎ Additional report by Daily Nigerian.