By Tunde Kayode


I have watched with keen interest, the relentless attempts by different groups and sponsored individuals to tarnish the reputation of the Director General of the Department of State Services, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi. Of particular note are the efforts to pin a “corruption label” on him. His appointment by former President Mohammadu Buhari, was a testament to his integrity, principles, steadfastness and commitment to upholding democratic values. Although I am not affiliated with the DSS, it is clear from numerous articles and commendations from respected sources that Mr Bichi has garnered significant praise and recognition for his leadership style and impeccable reputation. It is no longer news that his appointment came on the heels of one of Nigeria’s most harrowing episodes in history. Bichi’s selection as I have come to discover, was based on the need to ensure that someone who regards the rule of law, is committed to transparency and prioritises the protection of democratic institutions took charge.
It was, therefore, not shocking that Mr Bichi discharged his duties with so much intentionality in preserving and maintaining stability of the country. This is in addition to spearheading various transformative initiatives within the DSS, particularly concerning the welfare of both serving and retired staff. His dedication to these objectives was evident when he was reappointed in 2022 to head the agency for another four years, a news which sparked widespread celebrations among the DSS personnel.

Six years on from his initial appointment, the impact of his leadership across the country continues to resonate. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, give me just a handful of good men, and I will change the course of history. Indeed, few good men can truly shape the destiny of the nation. An astute, modest, passionate, humble, detribalised and quintessential officer stands out in his visionary and leadership traits. Little wonder successive governments without prejudice found him worthy.

It also came as no surprise that when Bola Ahmed Tinubu became President in 2023, he retained Mr Bichi. Of course, the outstanding accomplishments of the DG spoke for him and as the saying goes; merit knows no colours, creed or political affiliations. Mr Bichi’s continued tenure under President Tinubu’s administration is a testimony to the universal recognition of his competence and devotion to national security.

However, it is to be expected that a man of such uprightness and capability like Mr Yusuf Bichi would attract unwarranted hostility, for throughout history, individuals of exceptional merit often find themselves targeted by envy and resentment. People have sponsored false reports detailing fabricated instances of embezzlement, bribery and misappropriation of funds within the organisation. These allegations are aimed at tarnishing his reputation and eroding public trust in its ability to effectively maintain Nigeria’s stability.

He suffers these stabs on his character by those who are afraid and tremble at the prospects of his morality. His attackers know that as long as he remains true to his convictions and honesty, his seat as DG of the SSS remains firmly secured and will continuously attract the President’s favour. So they continue to mudsling, hoping to cast dirt on his personality. But why the hate for a man of peace and compassion? Who is afraid of Bichi? And for what? Who is afraid of the power of his positive influence? Who, within or outside the corridors of power, feels threatened by Bichi’s unbeatable record ideals of integrity, empathy and justice? What drives them to attack his character and undermine his authority? How can they justify their fear of someone who only seeks to uplift and unite? Why do they tremble at the mere mention of his name? What secrets do they harbour that compel them to fear Bichi’s influence? What actions has Bichi taken that have stirred such fear among certain individuals or groups? How does Bichi’s presence challenge the status quo?

As he continues to face these attacks, it serves as a heart-breaking reminder that the brightest flames often attract the most envy and the harshest winds of adversity. As a law enforcer, investigator, security analyst and protector of national interests, it is inevitable that he will encounter resistance and criticism. Therefore, if he faces hatred, it should come as no surprise. After all, as the saying goes, the path of duty is often a lonely one.

As long as God stands as his ally, all efforts to undermine him will always be futile. For when divine favour shines upon a man, even the strongest storms cannot shake his resolve nor dim his light. Not even the concerted efforts to smear his reputation with baseless accusations of corruption would stick. Those who truly know him would defend him and vehemently refute the fraud claims. Such malicious endeavours, though persistent, would continue to crumble in the face of his unassailable character and obligation to decency and justice. Like arrows aimed at a fortress built on solid rock, these allegations find no purchase against the steadfast resolve and moral fortitude of this exemplary individual. In a world often fraught with cynicism and doubt, the steadfast integrity and resilience of individuals like Mr Bichi serve as beacons of hope and inspiration, reminding us that virtue, in the end, will always prevail.

Tunde Kayode writes from Ibadan, Oyo State


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