A few Nigerians have taken to Twitter to react to the appointment of Yusuf Bichi as the new Director-General of the State Security Service, SSS).
Mr. Bichi was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
According to a statement by Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Mr. Bichi replaces Matthew Seiyefa, who has been operating in acting capacity since Lawal Daura was dismissed. He is appointment takes effect from Friday (today), September 14.
Mr. Shehu, in his statement, described the appointee as a ‘core’ secret service operative who has undergone training in intelligence processing analysis, agent handling recruitment and intelligence processing in the UK, as well as strategic training at the National Defence College.
“The new SSS boss comes to the job with skills in intelligence gathering, research analysis, conflict management, general investigation, risk and vulnerability operations, counter intelligence and protective operation and human resources management,” Mr. Shehu said.
Some Nigerians including a presidential aspirant, Donald Duke, and a federal lawmaker, Ben Murray-Bruce, have expressed disappointment at the president over his choice and equally accused him of nepotism.
“PMB has just appointed Yusuf Magaji Bichi as substantive DG SSS. Against the clamour to broaden the heads of our nations security framework, PMB has proven himself an irredeemable irredentist. SAD!!!,” Donald Duke tweeted.
Mr. Bruce also tweeted, “Seiyefa was the ONLY Southerner heading an Intelligence agency. He was competent and loyal. In the interest of federal character and north/south balance, President @MBuhari should have retained him. Bichi may be competent, but how can all intelligence (units) be headed by Northerners?”
Others, however, believe Mr. Bichi is qualified for the position.
Below are some reactions:
I don't have anything against Yusuf Magaji Bichi, but for President Buhari to replace an active officer with a retired one is a slap on the office of the DSS, and on Nigerians.
— Chinedu Kachi Memeh™?? (@ChineduMemeh) September 13, 2018
DFirst Question I Expected From Young Wailers Was, Is Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Qualified? But, Alas It's All About Ethnocentrism.
— Retson Tedheke (@retsonbiz) September 13, 2018
But are you aware the Yusuf Magaji Bichi retired after 35 years of service in 2017 as Daura's Director of Finance & Admin but kept illegally till Feb 2018 by Daura. But now brought back from retirement to head the agency?
— Akinloye NG #NewNigeria #ANN (@kadetumi) September 13, 2018
I am just reading that Yusuf Magaji Bichi who has just been appointed as the new DG of the SSS by President Buhari actually retired from service last year after 35 years of service. The President is heartless. He is tone deaf. Continue to support him it's your right. I am out.
— Orji A. Uka (@OrjiUka) September 13, 2018
BREAKING: President Buhari sacks Bayelsa born Acting Director of SSS, appoints Yusuf Magaji Bichi as new DG of SSS.
Reason: Tribalism and nepotism.
— Adeyanju Deji ?? (@adeyanjudeji) September 13, 2018
I congratulate President @MBuhari for appointing yet another Northerner, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, to head the Department of State Security. Whoever doubted Buhari’s 97% versus 7% statement can now see the President is dead set on his Northernisation of government policy #RenosDarts
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) September 13, 2018
Yusuf Magaji Bichi enlisted in the defunct NSO in 1982. He retired aftr 35 yrs of service in 2017 as Daura's Finance & Admin Director but was retained by Lawal Daura for few months & then released Feb 2018. It's likely thro him Daura will run the agency by proxy. It cld get worse
— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) September 13, 2018
PMB has just appointed Yusuf Magaji Bichi as substantive DG SSS. Against the clamour to broaden the heads of our nations security framework, PMB has proven himself an irredeemable irredentist. SAD!!!
— Donald Duke (@Donald_Duke) September 13, 2018
I found the @OfficialAPCNg’s response to @TheEconomist and @HSBC very disappointing. If you disagree with such illustrious bodies, all you need to do is give reasons why they are wrong. You dont castigate them. The Economist endorsed @MBuhari in 2015, were they unreasonable then?
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) September 13, 2018