This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: SSS - Terrorists Cannot Divide Nigeria

A clear message was at the weekend sent to those who think that the activities of terrorists are capable of affecting the cohesion and unity of the nation, that the country will remain intact despite the challenges.

The Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Ekpeyong Ita, gave the assurance while addressing members of Course No. 5 of the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja.

Ita told the graduands that the institute was set up to be a centre of academic excellence committed to expanding the professional horizon of the members of the intelligence services.

He reminded them that they were 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 situations as what it is currently being faced, particularly terrorism."

The DG quoted Robert Green saying: "Terror is the ultimate way to paralyse a people's 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."

According to him, "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."

He urged them to be prepared, stressing that "the activities of terrorists have been serious sources of strain 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."

He thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for his support to the service and emphatically declared "Let me reiterate the point that Nigeria can 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."

The SSS DG said the service was 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 realisation 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 security is for the individual, it is when the individual is secured that the nation is secured."

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