Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the second quarter 2021 meeting of the Directors of the State Commands of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) in the NorthWest, held in Kaduna on Thursday, 10th June 2021.
1. I am delighted to welcome you all to the political capital of northern Nigeria for your quarterly meeting. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me say a few words on our Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs. In our first term of office security management was under the Office of the Secretary to the State Government this is the structure in most States of the Federation, but we found that the Secretary to the State Government is extremely busy. We created the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs as a ministry in the Governor’s Office to coordinate internal security as well as provide support to the security agencies.
9. Samuel (Aruwan) said I picked a journalist to do this job, I did so not because he is a journalist but because I had seen in our first term of office, the energy he has, the number of informants he has across the State. As you know, journalists can either be reliable informants or rumour mongers, he happens to be one of those with reliable network of informants across the State. I am sure the energy that he has brought into his job, the support that he has given to the security agencies, including supplementing human intelligence on the ground on the activities of criminals, is well appreciated by all our security agencies.
10. Samuel does not sleep, and this job is not for an old man, he is a young man. What we have seen with the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs is that just getting a few dedicated people that are concerned about safety and security of our citizens and are willing to provide whatever support is needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to the security agencies, can lead to major improvements.
11. I know our State is not where it should be in terms of internal security but I do not want to even imagine how bad things would have been without the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs so I want to recognise and commend Samuel for a job well done, and I want to also assure the SSS as well as all the other security agencies that we will not relent in continuing to support our Armed Forces, our Police, all the Paramilitary Agencies as well as the SSS.
12. 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. Kaduna State Government thanks all of you.
13. Regarding the investment in technology, we in the Kaduna Sate Government are convinced that we do not have enough boots on the ground to cover the whole of Nigeria. We have too few policemen, we have too few officers’ men and women of the armed forces. We need to have many more, unfortunately you cannot have more overnight, you have to get the right people, you have to train them before we can get to that ideal number of the number of boots on the ground.
14. In the short term, what we can do to enhance the firepower of our security agencies is to get advanced technology, weapons, and other ordinance to enable them to increase their capacity to face the insurgents, the bandits and the terrorists that menace our people.
15. This Government has invested significantly in security, apart from the usual vehicles, radio equipment and so on. We have in the last five years been installing a Closed-Circuit TV system across the Kaduna Metropolis, we hope that this project will be completed within the next one-year and with that the Police and other security agencies will be empowered to be able to take pre-emptive action to deter criminals. We have invested in drones, and we are investing in more drones, working with the Airforce and the SSS to see that these drones are deployed to provide additional intelligence. We are also building a forensic laboratory, to help the Police and other security agencies in crime detection and prevention.
16. I have heard the request of our State Director of Security about getting an advance radio frequency tracker and I want to assure him that we are going to work on that, we will get another one that will help. We will not stop. Our resources maybe limited, but we know that our number one duty is to try to keep this place safe and we cannot do it without you, we cannot do it without supporting you and I assure you we will continue to do that.
17. On this note, it is my singular honour and privilege to declare this meeting open. I wish you very productive deliberations and safe journeys back to your States.
Thank you for listening and God bless you.