Politicians trust marabouts more than security officials — SSS DG

New SSS DG Yusuf Bichi
New SSS DG Yusuf Bichi

The Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Bichi, has attributed some of the security challenges in Nigeria to political leaders’ mistrust of security officials.

He said many politicians invest their trust in marabouts and ‘babalawos’ to solve security situations.

Mr Bichi was speaking Tuesday at a retreat for incoming governors organised by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

“I joke with politicians that you people trust the marabouts and babalawos more. Once someone tells you nothing will happen to your seat and it happens you just trust that person in all crisis,” he said.

Mr Bichi lampooned the notion of lack of intelligence to tackle security challenges, saying the problem is rather an inaction on the part of those who should act.

He said there is a disconnect at the grassroots in intelligence gathering due to the disconnect between the formal and traditional leadership structures.

The SSS boss also lamented the disregard for security issues at the local government level, saying most local government chairmen do not hold security meetings to know what is happening in their localities.

In his remarks, Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, urged his colleagues to maintain open doors in order to be on top of security challenges.

He said vital information could come from any quarters and governors who shut themselves out could miss such an opportunity.

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