By, Dr. Charles Omole
The perception of the intent of the SSS is based on the way they have conducted themselves. They need to reflect and improve. To do their job; they need a measure of public goodwill, consent and support.
The SSS is not making that goodwill easy to form given their conducts lately. Organisation Perception Management relates to the tactics designed to affect perceptions of the image, identity, or reputation of an organization. The SSS need to build a better reputation.
This can only be done by doing things right; not just doing the right thing. Even in the West, terrorist cells are not just arrested for their plans. They are monitored and surveillance in place to follow them. They are ever only arrested once sufficient evidence have been collected to prosecute beyond reasonable doubt; but before their evil plan is actioned. Hence their 100% conviction rate.
It is not unusual in Western societies for arrest to be made in January & trial and conviction on Terrorism charges secured by June of same year.
That is because most of the evidence needed to convict were gathered before arrest. Just a few additional corroboration may be done after arrest. That is why the longest post-arrest detention of suspects (which must be authorised by a Judge) is on average 3weeks.
Apart from human rights concerns of detention without trial; allowing the terrorist plans to progress under surveillance allows for more suspects to be captured in the net. Arrest too early and you get nothing and the few evidence you may have can easily be explained away.
So my final position on Sowore is that d SSS arrested him too soon if indeed he was planning anything unlawful. They should have put him under surveillance, obtain sufficient evidence b4 then arresting. Prosecuting him would have been a doodle if this best practice was followed.
The rule of law is key in a constitutional Democracy. Even before the US President could detain suspects without trial in Guantanamo Bay; he got the Congress to pass a new law giving him authorisation. So what do you do if you support a particular action but it is carried out in the wrong way. Do you just support blindly. Over the past few days; I have been contacted by over a dozen senior operatives in the SSS who are unhappy with the manner and conduct of their colleagues in the Sowore matter. They are all certain the SSS officers acted based on script given to them by their Boss and were not on a frolic of their own. When the right thing is done in the wrong way; we have to call it out in order to force accountability and change for the better.
I am an unrepentant supporter of all our security outfits in Nigeria. I have spend a decade of my life researching them. I know most of their leaders. I know their constraints and difficulties. I have been part of Security Sector Reform in over 40 countries.
I head an Institute that research all things Security day in day out. I have trained many of them. So for those political jobbers who are too blind to see what is going on keep up your foolery. My motive is non-political.
If best practice was followed in the arrest of Sowore; his case will be progressing through the courts as we speak with iron-clad evidence of his wrongdoings. Instead of SSS scrambling for charges after charges and arrest after arrest after having him in detention since August.
If friends of security agencies like me cannot call them to other, who can? That is why I also make recommendations so that folks can see I desire improvement as a staunch supporter of their work. My support for & commitment to our security institutions is unchangeable.
Organisation Perception hinges on three dominant themes: Timing, Goals, and Tactics. The SSS failed on on at least two in my view. But I will do a separate thread on Perception Management in the weeks ahead.
In the end; those who want to play politics with everything will do so regardless of the cogent points made. I support our security agencies; but I also know they can do better and be better. That’s my wish for them. That is what will help birth the new Nigeria of our dream.
You can follow @DrCOmole.