Police Reform Bill Will Instill Public Confidence In The Force, Says Ejiofor

Former Director of the State Security Service, Mike Ejiofor speaks on the Police Reform Bill on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on April 23, 2019.

 

A former Director of the State Security Service, Mr Mike Ejiofor, says the Police Reform Bill recently signed into law by the National Assembly will instill people’s confidence in the Force.

He stated this on Tuesday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“It will instill confidence because the police will become more professional and friendly. The citizens will now volunteer more information, cooperate with the police.

“At the zonal level, we have been advocating state police. But with this new bill they signed into law, it’s going to involve the people at the community, state and local government level,” he stated.

Ejiofor, having retired from the secret police agency also praised the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, for working hard to reform the agency since taking over from his predecessor, Ibrahim Idris in January.

He noted that the IGP’s visit to troubled parts of the country, engaging his officers on the rules of engagement among other things will strengthen personnel of the force on professionalism.

READ ALSO: Troops Kill 10 Bandits In Zamfara Forest

When asked if he is optimistic of the bill, Ejiofor replied in the affirmative.

To him, the bill “secures the tenure of the Inspector General of Police for a start.”

The former SSS director explained that the Police Reform Bill that is awaiting presidential assent seeks to guarantee the IGP’s tenure.

“The police council makes a recommendation to the President and the President sends to the Senate for confirmation. That secures his (the IGP) tenure.

“He needs to plan. It is irrespective of the fact whether the IGP was to retire within a year and is appointed in a year, he has to serve his tenure. And it, therefore, means that some of the DIGs or AIGs who are his contemporaries may be retiring under him. That is a challenge,” he stated.

While recalling that the police law dates back to 1944 (precolonial era), Ejiofor explained that its amendment will stabilise the police tenure and enable them to perform effectively.

Mike Ejiofor Sees Need For Report On Chibok Girls To Be Made Public

Mike-EjioforA former Director with the State Security Service (SSS), Mike Ejiofor, says it is necessary for the Nigerian government to make the report on the abducted Chibok girls public.

The former SSS boss, who was part of the team that investigated the girls’ abduction, said the girls were taken from their dormitory as claimed.

“We looked at the register of people writing the exams and WAEC enrolment and the people who were not available to write the exams,” he told Channels Television on Friday while giving his opinion on Nigeria’s security situation and the efforts to rescue the over 200 girls abducted two years ago.

Mr Ejiofor, however, declined to speak further on the findings since the report had not been released.

He also said he had expected that the government would have released the report, but expressed optimism that the government, being a continuum, would do so soon.

Mr Ejiofor pointed out that the issue of the abducted Chibok girls taken by members of the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014 from their school’s dormitory was a puzzle that the government must solve.

On why it has become so difficult to rescue the girls, he said: “We do not have sufficient intelligence on the whereabouts of the girls and this necessitated the Senate to invite the Security Chiefs”.

The former SSS official also said he was never against negotiations with the terrorists on the release of the girls.

“The problem we are actually facing is the issue of getting credible leadership from within the Boko Haram to negotiate with the Federal Government.

“I am not opposed to negotiation especially in the release of the girls because it is one issue that the government must solve.

“The worrisome aspect of it is that since these girls were taken two years ago, several rescues have been made but we have not found one of the girls among those rescued,” Mr Ejiofor pointed out.

The UN had few days ago said in a report that the number of young girls being used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram had increased.

But Mr Ejiofor believes that the girls being used for the suicide bombing were not the Chibok girls.

“The age range of the girls being used are between nine and 12. The girls that were taken, none of them will be less than 19, going by the fact that they were taking their final exams in secondary school,” he stressed.

The former SSS boss also urged the Nigerian government to re-introduce the National Information Centre for coordination of information given to the media on security issues facing the nation.

“The previous administration established the National Information Centre where all services were represented and information is co-ordinated.

“The establishment should be reintroduced to ensure that the government speaks with one voice,” the former SSS Director stated.

 

 

 

Failed Cease-fire Deal Allowed Boko Haram Re-strategise – Fmr SSS Boss

Mike EjioforThe former Director of State Security Service, Mike Ejiofor, has said that the failed case-fire deal between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect, which also involved the Chadian government, allowed the insurgents, led by Abubakar Shekau, to regroup and restrategise.

Speaking on Nigeria’s security challenges prevalent in the North East region, Ejiofor admitted that the government had mishandled the cease fire deal, noting that such arrangements should not be considered, owing to Boko Haram’s threats to Islamaise the country.

Ejiofor also commented on the ongoing debate about extending the State of Emergency by another six months.
Last week, the Security Chiefs met with the Senate in a closed door meeting to discuss modalities of the extension, after which the Senate committee expressed satisfaction in the Military’s strategies and performance so far in the fight against insurgency.

“I believe it is very important that the extension be given,” he said expressing worry over the possibility of carrying out elections in the three North East States, where the State of Emergency had been in effect.

He supported his position by saying that there had been severe attacks against communities in the North East prior to the imposition of the State of Emergency.

“We had a lot of bombing and attacks on various communities until the State of Emergency was introduced”, he said, adding that the spate of bombings reduced afterwards.

“The question is, if you don’t get State of Emergency extended now, what will be the situation? It will be worse that this”, he said insisting that those who were against the extension were misinformed and misguided.

Ejiofor’s position on the SOE extension appears to be in consonance with that of the former Director, Army Legal services, Major-General Muyiwa Badewole (RTD), who on Wednesday, warned that the security situation in the North East region of the country may worsen if the State of Emergency was not effected immediately.

 Last week, President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to the House of Representatives to extent the State of Emergency was declined as lawmakers urged him to make use of his powers as Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces to deploy troops to the area.

Despite the botched cease-fire which involved Chadian president, Idris Derby, and a reported second attempt at a dialogue with the terrorists, Ejiofor said that “government should go all out to put an end to this insurgency by flushing out Boko Haram”.

He noted that the only time the government should opt for dialogue is when the negotiation is initiated by the sect.

Nigerian Army ‘Re-engineered’ For Boko Haram Battle – Fmr DSS Boss

Mike EjioforA former Director of the Department of State Security, Mike Ejiofor, on Thursday, asked Nigerians to be more appreciative of the efforts of the Nigerian military, as their performance in recent times has shown that they have been re-engineered to take-on the Boko Haram insurgents.

“The military, as far as I’m concerned, has been re-engineered and they are taking on Boko Haram and by the grace of God, we will make success and progress in the course of fighting Boko Haram,” Ejiofor said, while addressing some security concerns, on Sunrise Daily.

In his opening remarks, the former DSS boss said that although security has posed a challenge to the nation, especially concerning insurgency, the “issue of terrorism is not peculiar to Nigeria”, and the situation is “worrisome because this has not been part of our culture”.

He also noted that although it was justifiable for the media to raise alarm about issues but warned that some news stories are unfounded.

“Much as we agree there are challenges, we must also ask Nigerians to be responsive and responsible in maintaining law and order. It’s not just to be left for security agencies alone,” he said.

Making reference to the Presidential committee set up to help victims of terrorism, he noted that the government was making efforts to cater for citizens affected by the crisis. “The government is making adequate provision for that”.

He also noted that activities of the army in past one week have defied claims that the military was not doing enough to control the insurgency.

“In the past one week (or so), you can see that the army (for instance), our security forces have been re-engineered. They are taking on Boko Haram and that is why most times you hear of casualties on both parties.”

He went further to state that “I think our military should be commended” and appreciated for their commitment and sacrifice.

“When I read that the son of the former president was shot in a cross-fire, it tells you the commitment our Armed Forces, our security forces have” he said, stating that such an incident could not have happened in any other institution.

Security Expert Advocates DNA Emplacement In Imported Explosive

Max-GbaniteForensic analysis and DNA emplacement in every explosive that comes into Nigeria for the mining sector should be something that the security agencies must begin to look into, as a means of ending the insurgency in the northeast, a strategic security consultant said on Friday.

Mr Max Gbanite gave the advice while giving his opinion on how Nigeria’s security agencies could tackle the incessant bombings in some northern states.

He explained that the emplacement would enable security agencies identify such dynamite when used in any operation.

“The colour of that dynamite will enable the Department of State Security (DSS) identify the dynamite and the importer and it would enable them also trace how it got into the hands of the terrorists.

“Anything short of that is uncivilised,” he stressed.

The security consultant pointed out that the ingredients for making bombs could be obtained easily, explaining that the successes recorded were because the DSS had been able to trace the importer of the cable used for the timers.

Pattern Of Funding

He said that huge fund was required for adequate forensic equipment and that the one billion dollars loan that President Goodluck Jonathan had requested for would not be enough to put all necessary equipment in place.

“The president should be given the support needed,” he said, suggesting, however, that the funds, though needed, should not be borrowed.

“We are going to borrow 1 billion dollars. Why borrow? We need the money and what I thought that the National Assembly that has gone on recess without approving the request in a time of emergency should have done is to tell the president to cut-off about five billion dollars from the almost 43 billion dollars in the Excess Crude Account and bring it in to fund the re-kitting of the military.

“The government can also dedicate a certain number of barrels of crude per day to get the equipment and not put the burden of a loan on Nigerians,” he said.

The military had called for more funds to enable it meet the challenges of insecurity that the counter-terrorism operations in the northeast.

There have been delays in the release of funds in to the military, a development Mr Gbanite condemned.

“The pattern of funding is also affecting the effectiveness of security personnel.

“The last tranche of the first quarter security funding was just released by the Minister of Finance. You don’t fight terrorism that way.

“They must help the President and Nigerians to win the war.  When you are paying the last tranche, you edit it so terribly that the security agencies could not do much with it. That is not how to fight terror,” he cautioned.

According to him, another issue affecting the fight against insurgency was the fact that the CCTVs installed in Abuja and other cities around Nigeria were not working.

“The CCTV does not tell you about a suicide bomber when he is moving. All it tells you is that there is a particular vehicle from a particular area is approaching certain area and makes that vehicle very suspicious. Then you can monitor the activities of that particular vehicle.

“But those that are charged with the responsibility have failed Nigerians and now the president is going to take the credit or the blame because those he has put in place has failed him,” he said, insisting  that there is a need for the government to look into the issue.

Several promises have been made that the insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast and some other states in the north would end soon, but Mr Gbanite stressed the need for a combination of psychological cooperation to deter new recruits from joining Boko Haram

He further said that there must also be an establishment of economic infrastructure in the area to make the people feel they have an opportunity to work and make a living than to be an insurgent.

CCTVs Not Working, Contract Should Be Investigated – Ejiofor

Mike EjioforA former Director of the State Security Service (SSS), Mike Ejiofor says the CCTVs installed in Abuja and Lagos by the Federal Government of Nigeria, for which a loan of about 475 million dollars was obtained, are not working.

He urged the government to institute a high powered investigation of the issue, stressing that the Federal Government (FG) should not watch while resources are thrown away.

“It is a loan that has to be paid by the Federal Government. We should not watch our resources thrown away like that.

“It is a dangerous aspect of security infrastructure because I remember that the FG took a loan of about 475 million dollars to install CCTV cameras in Abuja and Lagos.

“I am telling you now that those cameras are not working, which is very terrible.

“The cameras, if they were okay, would have assisted in checking what happened at Emab Plaza in Abuja last month,” he told Channels Television on Friday.

He pointed out that “the ineffectiveness of the cameras is a big challenge that must be tackled”.

Mr Ejiofor also stressed that for Nigeria to succeed in the fight against terrorism technological assistance in investigation, in terms of CCTV, was necessary.

He further emphasised that the security agencies that were meant to use the CCTVs should have been involved in the purchase of the equipment, as it would have given them the opportunity to know the effectiveness of the cameras.

Need To Exercise Patience 

Asked if the Nigeria was recording successes in the fight against terrorism, he answered to the affirmative, saying: “Despite the explosions that we are still witnessing, we are recording successes. It could have been worse than this.

“But we should not be discouraged. Nigerians need to exercise patience, cooperate with security agencies.

“I am delighted that most prominent Nigerians and statesmen are coming out now to make patriotic statements condemning the attacks and not seeing it as either religious or ethnic war but looking at Boko Haram, as an enemy of Nigeria, we must have a common stand that this is a common enemy to the whole country,” he said.

Mr Ejiofor also said that the extent the attacks by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, had gotten was not expected and that it would take time for the military to be well prepared to tackle it.

He attributed the slow pace in tackling the insurgency to the fact that terrorism was alien to Nigeria.

“It is not part of our culture or our system. Since it is an evolving trend we need to adopt some new tactics to fight it. I think the government is putting some security infrastructures in place to tackle the insurgency,” he said.

One of such strategies, he said, was the demand for a one billion dollars loan by President Goodluck Jonathan to re-kit thee military, stressing it would go a long way in providing needed military equipment.

He commended the Police and the State Security Service for their security awareness lectures, but stressed that the group of people that the police were talking to should be right people.

“All citizens must be involved in the sensitisation. Let us as individuals take care of our environment.

“Owners of businesses should install personal CCTV and employ private security guard,” The former SSS director said.

He further stressed the need for the National Security and Civil Defence Corps to organise special training or general awareness programme for private security guards, to equip them with needed knowledge on how to carry out checks for Improvised Explosive Devices.

Think Before You Talk, Former DSS Boss Berates Governor Nyako

Mike EjiforFollowing the presidential response to controversial comments credited to Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, which accused the Federal Government of carrying out genocide against Nigeria’s northern states, the Former Director, Department of State Service [DSS], Mike Ejiofor, on Thursday also berated the governor and called on well-meaning Nigerians to condemn such statements.

Speaking from Channels Television’s Abuja studios on Sunrise Daily, Mr Ejiofor described the Governor’s comments as unfortunate, because “he’s supposed to instill confidence and not fear in the people he is leading.”

Adamawa is one of the three states under State of Emergency in the North-East and has suffered several attacks by members of the Boko Haram insurgency who security agencies have said move into the State through the unguarded Cameroon border.

Ejiofor however opined that the governor’s comments were born out of politics and not frustration over the situation, noting that such comments had the capability of sparking civil unrest.

“Being a person in position of authority, he should also temper his words, because he is supposed to instill confidence and not fear in the people he is leading,” he said, urging well-meaning Nigerians to disregard the statements which were “unfounded and unsubstantiated.”

He stressed that there was no need to carry out investigations into Nyako’s allegations as there was no iota of truth in it, warning that the “statement alone is even capable of emboldening the terrorists to continue the insurgency.”

“We should not be playing politics with our security… because it’s distracting and it’s not helping us and the insurgents have not said exactly what they want, (and) that’s why all hands must be on deck.”

Making reference to comments by former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, the former DSS boss also urged all governors to join hands with the federal government to ensure that peace reigned in the country.

He further called on citizens to take responsibility as regards the nation’s security, understand the current situation and exercise patience as terrorism is not a war that can be fought easily and won.

On the rumoured Boko Haram attack along the Lagos/Ibadan expressway on Wednesday, Ejiofor said it was the work of mischief makers but could have been planted by terrorists.

While calling on citizens to always verify information from the security agencies and also make use of emergency numbers available, he noted that the government or security agencies should have reacted immediately to assure citizens that the rumour was untrue.

On the aftermath of Nyanya bomb blast which has caused regular traffic gridlock in the affected area in Abuja, Ejiofor called said citizens should exercise patience but warned that there was danger in such traffic situations as terrorists may take advantage of such situation to wreck more havoc.

He called on security agents to find solutions to tackle the situation.

Chibok Girls:

Ejiofor also gave another perspective on the abduction of the school girls in Chibok, Borno State, stating that the terrorists could be using them as human shields, to ensure that the Army does not attack the forest without caution.

He supported Chijioke Ubani’s suggestion on tracing the point of purchase of the Hilux vehicles being used by the insurgents, using the Chassis numbers but noted that some of the vehicles may have been smuggled into the country without proper documentation.

“Citizens should liaise more with security agencies and provide information,” he said, and advocated for a system of Community Watch which would comprise of retired security personnel.

 

 

 

Politics: Boko Haram Attacks Will Reduce In 2014 – Ejiofor

A former Director of State Security Services, Mike Ejiofor, has predicted a decrease in the activities of the Boko Haram sect in 2014 as political activities increases and the nation gears up for state elections in Osun and Ekiti States as well as the forthcoming 2015 general elections.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Ejiofor said: “I’ll tell you outright from forecasts, the activities of Boko Haram are going to go down with the rise of political activities,” he said, insisting that the sect is politically motivated.

The appointment of new Service Chiefs, including the Chief of Defence Staff is also no guarantee that “the activities of Boko Haram will go underground,” he said, faulting the new CDS’ promise to bring an end to the insurgency in before the 2015 elections.

“I believe he should have settled down to study the situation,” he said.

Commenting on the state of the nation’s security, Ejiofor stressed that progress was being made. “In 2013 for instance, we made a lot of progress in terms of security. You can see that the issue of Boko Haram is now restricted to Borno in particular, with occasional splashes in Yobe and some parts of the North East.”

The current situation, he said, “is unlike what we had in 2011 – 2012 when it was bombing everywhere. You had in Kaduna and Kano. It was all over, even in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“I think we made substantial progress in 2013,” he said but stressed that there were “spill overs from 2013 to 2014.”

According to him, the greatest challenge Nigeria will face in 2014 is on the political front because of preparations for general elections. “I would concentrate more on the political threats.”

“The outcome of the governorship election coming up in Osun and Ekiti states is very critical to the general elections coming up in 2015.

“We should worry as a matter of fact” he said, referring to developments in the polity part of which he said was the mass defections from the PDP to the APC.

According to him, “PDP to Nigerians is just like what the Catholic Church is to the Christendom” and it is healthy for the nations democracy when politicians move in and out of political parties.

On the forthcoming elections, he said: “We should expect some level of violence this year in terms of political activities”.

“INEC should put all they have together and make sure that Osun and Ekiti elections come out clean. At least they should be able to score at least 80 to 90 per cent because we would be deceiving ourselves if we say we expect 100 per cent.”

On INEC’s decision not to conduct elections in the three states currently under emergency rule if security threats persist, Mr Ejifor mentioned the possibility of elections in the state based on the success of local government elections in Yobe state.

He also drew attention to comments made by certain individuals concerning the forthcoming general elections. “My worry is the utterances being made by some elders that would tend to compound our already existing problems.”

“Politically, if we don’t moderate our utterances, it’s going to create a lot of problems.”

He berated elder statesmen who have been making comments that would generate conflict in the polity.

On the arrest of Mr Nasir El-Rufai by the DSS for making inciting comments, Mr Ejiofor said there were bound to be reactions from the people because other individuals had made similar comments and were not seen to be called to order.

He said: “Government should be commended for the tolerance of opposition” as previous administrations had been hostile towards critics.

He further blamed some print media for its way of reporting news which “generates a lot of friction when there is none.”

“Some of our print media are part of the problems we are facing in our security challenges,” he said, citing ambiguous headlines as examples.

He called on the media to “play down on some of the security threats.”

State Of Emergency Has Yielded ‘Very Satisfactory’ Results– Expert

Mike Ejiofor, a former director of the State Security Service and Lawyer has described the result from the   state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan in some northern states as ‘very satisfactory’.

The former SSS Director who was on Sunrise Daily went further to highlight the positive impact that the declaration of the state of emergency has had on the state and its citizens as they have formed an alliance with the special forces deployed to those states tracking and handing over suspected sect members to the troops.

He commended Nigerians for their patience and understanding even though some notable Nigerians felt that the state of emergency would not achieve the much desired result and the security forces deployed for observing the rules of engagement knowing that the international community is watching and so far no issue has been raised and the troops.

He also asked that the Federal Government be given a pat on the back as it is a government that has witnessed the greatest security challenge since the end of the civil war and despite that the nation is still witnessing development and transformation.

Former SSS Boss Says Boko Haram Will Be Phased Out ‘Gradually’

A former director of the State Security Service, Mr Mike Ejiofor, has said that Nigerians should give the Federal Government the support it needs to combat terrorism in the country.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, he said that as long the Federal Government continues to get this support, since stepping up its fight to phase out the insurgents that almost rendered the government toothless in terms of security; the insurgents will be phased out not at once but gradually.

“It has taken over a long period of time before we got to where we are so I don’t expect that within one month all the problems will be resolved

So gradually, we are getting there, there’s no gainsaying there must be some skirmishes, there must be isolated cases of attacks, because it’s an asymmetrical war, it is not a war you have an opponent you are facing and taking on, one on on,”. he said.

Commenting on the relaxed curfew in Yobe state, he said the success recorded by the special troops in the region gave rise to the adjustment in curfew.

He added that life is gradually returning to normal in Yobe State as normal activities have resumed.

Former State Security Boss Calls For Support From Nigerians In Fighting Terrorism

A former Director of the Department of State Security (DSS), Mike Ejiofor has called on all Nigerians to co-operate with the security agencies in the country in stamping out terrorism.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ejiofor said it was with the information provided by the resident of Kano, Northwest Nigeria, that security operatives were able to uncover an illegal armory with links to Hezbollah terrorist organization.

A combined force of the Nigerian military, the Police and the DSS had on Thursday uncovered an armory suspected to be that of Hezbollah organization in Kano.

The army also arrested four persons suspected to be the occupants of the house.

Mr Ejiofor said one of the problems Nigeria face is its porous borders.

“One of the greatest challenges we have is our porous borders. Our borders are so wide. The Minister of Interior told us sometimes that we have over 1, 497 illegal routes and this is not good for us,” he said.

He advocated that the agencies responsible for controlling the nation’s borders – the Nigerian Customs Services and the Nigerian Immigration Services –should be strengthened and encouraged by making formation available to them.

He said, “There is no way those weapons could have come in without the collaborations of some unscrupulous Nigerians. So we need to be vigilant; we are facing an international war and we must rise up to the challenges.”

Decisive Action

With the uncovering of a Lebanese terror group, Hezbollah in Nigeria, Mr Ejiofor said the Federal Government should rather than taking a hurried action against Lebanon, open a diplomatic channel with the country.

“In International diplomacy, you don’t just rush into issues like that but I was pleasantly surprised by the action taken by the government for security forces to have filled the premises of the terrorist suspects.

“I think a diplomatic channel should be opened between Nigeria and Lebanon alongside with Iran because Iran has been indicted two or three times now on this very terrorist act. I think Nigeria should take decisive action towards Iran,” Mr Ejiofor said.