CITIZENS COMPASS – THE Department of State Services (DSS) has dismissed as false, reports by sections of the online media against its activities in recent times.
The Service, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Peter Afunanya, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), mentioned SaharaReporters, Peoples Gazette and Jackson Ude as major culprits, saying the “platforms variously and wrongly fed the public with misleading narratives and accusations against the Service.”
The statement partly reads
“For instance, SaharaReporters wrote that the Service stormed the Independent Corrupt Pratices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and carted away certain files from them. Jackson Ude falsely claimed that there is a rumble in the DSS due to nepotism. He further accused the Service of snooping on Judges on the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. On its part, Peoples Gazette reported that Senator Abdulaziz Yari was arrested for alleged refusal to pick the President’s phone call (whatever that meant). There are other variants of unsubstantiated and anonymous petitions flying around against the DGSS, his family and some officials.
“The Service ordinarily would not have responded to these inaccuracies but for the fickle minded and vulnerable persons as well as the unsuspecting public that may take the lies for facts. To set the records straight, the DSS did not execute operations of any kind at the ICPC and CCB or remove files from their offices. Instructively, the two agencies have, on their own, refuted the news in widely circulated press statements. It is petty, if not laughable, to report that Yari was invited for refusing to pick the President’s call. This is the height of junk journalism. Yari knows why he was invited.
“In fact, the Service denies all the allegations as they lack any factual basis or credibility. They are only figments of the creators’ imaginations. This is more so that the publishers in question have been noted in and outside the country for their notoriety for peddling fake news, sensational and gutter journalism. Without a modicum of proper and civilised behaviour, they indulge in character assassinations and sundry blackmail as business.
“It is not in doubt that their reports under reference are hatchet jobs designed to smear or impeach the integrity of the Service and its leadership. Notably, the Service proactively alerted the public about this development earlier in June, 2023. While it is aware of the sponsors of these campaigns of calumny, it will simply allow them to exhaust themselves knowing too well that they would someday be brought to justice. Many days, it is said, are sure for the thief but there will be that one day for the owner of the house. It is clear that the writers and their sponsors are oblivious of the accolades the Service has continued to receive from majority of stakeholders for excellent performance and its professional demeanour in handling many critical issues of national importance. Rather, they have chosen to use their platforms to subvert the Agency and undermine its capabilities.
“Restating its respect for the rule of law, independence and autonomy of other agencies including the Judiciary and Legislature, it will not shirk its responsibilities or allow some detractors to prevent it from undertaking its statutory duties or carrying out lawful orders by constituted authorities. If Yari or anyone else is to be invited or taken into custody, the Service will not hesitate to do so as far as that is procedurally done within the confines of the law.
“The Service will remain focused, resilient, patriotic and professional in the conduct of its affairs. Members of the public are enjoined to disregard the misleading stories which are aimed at causing disaffection in the country and disparaging the Service’ leadership. The Service will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to address security challenges in the country in line with its mandate and the directives of the President. It does not matter how many times naysayers and hostile agents will plan to distract it.”