A former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, on Friday, lamented that unpatriotic politicians create problems for the country whenever they order the release of suspects of national crime.
He, therefore, said the independence of the intelligence agencies including the DSS would make the security outfits more effective in executing its constitutional roles.
The former DSS official spoke on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme monitored by The PUNCH.
He said, “One thing I know is that the intelligence community is solid in this country but what impedes them in carrying out some of the jobs they want to do is politics, politicians because when you mix with politics security, then it becomes a big problem.
“If these agencies are independent on their own, they should be able to do a better job but when they are under the direction of leaders that are not forthcoming or who don’t think seriously about the whole country, then we have problem.”
When asked to explain how the political class limits the operations of intelligence agents, Amachree said, “You are a Nigerian and have you ever heard anything called ‘Orders From Above’? And have you heard a situation where somebody was arrested for certain things, national crimes, security crimes and a call will come to let the person go. It has happened in the history of this country.
“So, you will find out that it is not a situation where security agencies are not very free to do what they are supposed to do. But if their allegiance is to the constitution of Nigeria, you will find out that they will carry out the national interest.”
When asked for the second time to make clarification on his earlier point, the ex-DSS director said, “That phone calls would come and you can let somebody go? Yeah, you will find out that you have to carry out orders because you are not (at) the top of the organisation. Even if you are (at) the top of the organisation, somebody above you will call you and say, ‘Okay, we don’t want to do it like this, we will do it like this’.
Amachree scolded members of political parties including the ruling All Progressives Congress and the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, for turning security matters to score political goals.
“When security is being executed, it does not know ethnicity, it does not know religion, it does not know which party but here there is this separation whereby, you remain when PDP was in power, APC was all over them and again when APC comes into power, you find the others all over them and there is nothing good coming from the opposition party and that is unpatriotic,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to be more patriotic and not to see security matters from the optics of political affiliation, ethnicity or religion.