I want to sincerely welcome you all to the graduation ceremony of the Executive Intelligence Management Course number V. The successful completion of this course which lasted for nine (9) months is a testimony of the commitment of the Institute to fulfill the Vision and the Mission the Institute was set up to achieve.
2. Let me remind us all that this Institute was set up to be a Centre of academic excellence, committed to expand the professional horizon of the members of the Intelligence Services. It is also to provide participants a broad outlook, intellectual depth and capacity to deal efficiently with ever complex security challenges.
3. My dear graduands you are graduating at the critical period of national development. It is a period the nation is facing complex security challenges, like kidnapping, oil theft, piracy, violent crimes and terrorism. I do not think this nation has ever faced a more fluid, more dynamic or more complex threat situations as what is currently being faced, particularly terrorism.
4. According to Robert Green;
“Terror is the ultimate way to paralyse a peoples’
will to resist and destroy their ability to plan a strategic response. Such power is gained through sporadic acts of violence that create a constant feeling of threat, incubating a fear that spreads throughout the public sphere”.
5. The goal in a terror campaign is not battlefield victory, but causing maximum chaos and provoking the other side into desperate over-reaction. Melting invisibly into the population, tailoring their actions for the mass media, the strategist of terror create the illusion that they are far more powerful than they really are. It is a war of nerves. The victims of terror must not succumb to fear or even anger; to plot the most effective counter strategy, they must stay balanced. In the face of terror campaign, one’s rationality is the last line of defence.
6. As you are leaving the Institute today, I want to prepare your mind to the situation you will be confronted with, even though at a reduced scale in your operational areas. Accordingly, I urge you to bring your wealth of professional experience and the knowledge you have acquired here to bear on these challenges.
7. I must say that the activities of terrorists have been serious sources of strain and stresses on corporate existence, image and development of the country. This Service and other Security forces with the support of government have worked assiduously to contain and reduce considerably the activities of these unscrupulous and misguided elements.
8. Accordingly, I want to thank Mr. President for the enormous support and encouragement he has given the Service which have assisted us to enhance our technical capacity, building of staff skills, knowledge and competences to fight the war against terrorism. This is a war we have paid the supreme sacrifice and have no alternative than to sustain the current tempo in order to ensure ultimate victory.
9. Let me reiterate the point that Nigeria can NEVER NEVER be divided by the activities of some misguided, ignorant terrorists or those unscrupulous individuals whose activities and utterances kept chiselling though unsuccessfully the very foundation of those things we hold dear, particularly the unity of this country. To this last group of people, I am saying enough is enough.
10. We are determined to create enabling environment through the provision of adequate security for the sustenance of democracy and the strengthening of democratic institutions for sustainable development. We do this in realization of the fact that, it is only when there is development that you can have security, because without development there can be no security. We also bear in mind that the security is for the individual, it is when the individual is secured that the Nation is secured.
11. As a Service we have been responding to the prevalent threats to National Security by adopting a well calculated approach in three (3) keys areas. They include a vastly improved intelligence collection strategy, inter-agency partnership and information sharing and effective utilization of limited resources. We have since moved away from a reactive to a very proactive Service, where intelligence drives investigative and operational activities, enhances understanding of threat indicators and also our ability to mitigate and disrupt emerging threats.
12. We are prudently allocating our limited resources to target top priority threats with high impact approach. In addition to fundamentally changing the Services’ approach to conducting intelligence operations, we are also enhancing partnership with sister agencies, the key stakeholders, the press and the public at large. In particular, we maintain very close and cordial working relationship with the Joint Task Force (JTF) units and I commend the relationship.
13. I want to sincerely thank President Goodluck JONATHAN, GCFR for continuously equipping the Service technologically. The investment in Technology has been a major boost to our operations and will continue to play an important role in our resolve to equip our operatives to confront contemporary security challenges with confidence. In addition, the Service is focused on training, both locally and internationally, this is with a view to build the staff capacity and enhance their knowledge, skills and competences in tackling contemporary security challenges.
14. Similarly, we have since realized that in any counter-insurgency strategy, the media plays a crucial role in defining the nature, scope and level of threats in critical situations, especially in information dissemination and calming frayed nerves of the populace. The media is and will always remain our partners and they are very close to the Service’s heart.
15. They have helped us to take a leadership role in maintaining public confidence by educating the public on nature of threats and how to respond to specific threat situations. They populace have been sensitized on what to watch out for in their neighbourhood or environment, who to call and where to go with information of value. I believe that citizens’ education is a primary tool in defeating the antics of terrorists.
16. I have all along, operated with the conviction that the human resource is the main artery, the backbone and the most important asset of any organization. This conviction has been what propels me to go to any length to motivate the staff in order to enable them to go beyond the call of duty. We have also taken adequate care of your life after retirement by pulling the Service out of PENCOM and establishing our Pensions Board. This we are eternally grateful to Mr. President and the National Assembly. Let me reiterate the fact that, I will continue to make staff welfare the focal point of our operational efficiency by rewarding hard work and compensating families of staff who die on active Service.
17. My dear graduands, your graduation could not have come at a better time than now, especially with the value you have added to your operational knowledge. You are the new weapons fashioned against our security challenges throughout the nation. I have abiding faith and total confidence that you will not fail yourselves or the Nation.
18. Once again, I want to congratulate you on the successful completion of your course. I urge you to make good use of the knowledge you have acquired and always remember that the only knowledge that really matters is what you learn after you know it all.
Being text of an address by the Director General of the State Security Service, E.E. Ita, at the graduation ceremony of participants of Executive Intelligence Management Course 5 on October 20, 2012 at the Institute for Security Studies, Abuja.