The Department of State Services (DSS) has written to Olusegun Adeniyi, former spokesman of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, over his recent column.
Adeniyi, who is the Chairman, Editorial Board of THISDAY, had narrated the plight of Nigerians in detention, in a column titled: ”Beyond Abba Kyari’s Indictment”.
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In the piece published on Thursday, Adeniyi had said ”hundreds of innocent citizens are currently languishing in Police and State Security Services (SSS) detention centres across the country, following arrests ordered by powerful men and women”.
But in a swift reaction, Peter Afunanya, DSS’ spokesman, denied that the secret police has arrested or detained any Nigerian on the order(s) of private citizens or persons.
Afunanya, while describing Adeniyi’s statement as ”misleading, inciting, denigrating, demeaning and misinforming”, stressed that it appeared some people are hell-bent in running down the service at any given slightest opportunity.
He said, ”Dear Mr Olusegun Adeniyi, without efforts to join issues with you on an opinion expressed by you in your article of 5th August, 2021 on the above subject matter, the SSS takes exceptions to the part that states that “Hundreds of innocent citizens are currently languishing in Police and State Security Services (SSS) detention centres across the country, following arrests ordered by powerful men and women.”
”This is not true. I do not speak for the Police but it is certain that no Nigerian or anyone for that matter is in the SSS/DSS custody on the order(s) of private citizens or persons. The SSS has an Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) on the criminal justice administration.”
Afunanya, however, demanded immediate withdrawal of Adeniyi’s comment, saying security agencies, if not praised, should be supported.
According to him, ”The media owes a duty, propelled by good conscience and common good, to guide public narratives about some government agencies and their sacrifices to uphold security, peace and unity of this nation, Nigeria.
”The SSS should not be run down given the slightest opportunity. You had been at the commanding heights of governance and national security administration and management to understand issues so as not to misinform the public.
”It is unacceptable for a respectable columnist of your experience and status to make a sweeping statement like the one herein. It is misleading, inciting, denigrating, demeaning, misinforming and should be withdrawn.
”The SSS and indeed security agencies, if not praised, should be supported. The Organisation may not be perfect but it is doing so much for the Country. It respects and loves the citizens and residents and strives to serve them based on best practices, rule of law/engagement and a balance between rights and national security.
”Thank you Sir as you correct this erroneous impression created about the Service. I remain your partner in progress and service to fatherland.”