Allegations against DSS DG capable of causing disaffection among secret services – Civil group

Allegations against DSS DG capable of causing disaffection among secret services – Civil group

A coalition of civil organization led by the Nation Building Imperatives (NBI) has cautioned against the dangers of politicizing and belittling the nation’s security apparatuses, warning that such would not bode well with the efforts to bind the country together and ensure internal and external security.

The warning followed an allegation made by an X user, @jacksonpbn, who accused Bichi, among other things, of being corrupt.

@jacksonpbn had claimed that the Director General of the security agency, Yusuf Bichi, stole a subsidy grant intended for staff members.

DAILY POST reported that the Department of State Services (DSS), had since dismissed it as being untrue.

The Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday said the “goodbye allowance” which the DG was accused of granting himself does not exist.

The NBI has, however, described it as wild and unfounded allegations against the Director General of the DSS and advised against impugning the integrity of the nation’s secret service in exchange for political profits.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Dagogo Henshaw, and Public Affairs Officer, Danjuma Mwantok, NBI observed that there were efforts to create some form of tension and disaffection among the various secret service agencies, notably the Department of State Services (DSS), the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and cautioned that if the current war being waged against the agencies is allowed to stand, the entire security architecture of the country would significantly diminish under the eroding influence of political carpetbaggers who do not have the interest of the nation at heart.

Referencing the media activities of a Nigerian Twitter (now known as X) user, Jackson Ude, whose recent activities suggest a clear intention to tarnish the image of the officers and men of the DSS, the group advised Nigerians to work towards the preservation of the reputation of the DSS as secret police in the overall interest of the country.

On the allegations that Bichi has refused to implement a certain 40 percent salary increment for officers and men of the Service, the group dismissed the claim as spurious and unfounded, wondering how the DG of the establishment could prevent the implementation of a welfare package that was already approved.

“We view this allegation as mischievous and unfounded because the DG of DSS can’t prevent the implementation of welfare packages for his staff when he was not the person who made the approval in the first place.

“It is a known fact that the salaries and welfare packages of all federal civil servants, including the military and paramilitary services are approved and coordinated by the Nigeria Salaries and Wages Commission. Given this established structure, it is not even possible for the DG to interfere in the process, how much more preventing it? Assuming that it was even the call of the DG to either implement or stall approved welfare packages for staff, the question that should be asked is, what personal profits are due to the DG for stalling the welfare of his workers,” the group queried.

Continuing, the statement said: “The facts about the salaries and welfare of the staff of the Department of State Services and the other military and paramilitary services are in the open and can be verified by any person whose sincere motive is to find the truth. A simple scan of the media space will be enough to reveal that there is no 40 percent salary increase anywhere to implement. We know this because in a story published by a national daily, the Honourable Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said he has been in talks with the Nigeria Salaries and Wages Commission to regularise the salaries of paramilitary officers to be on a par with the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force. What this simply means is that Messrs. Ude’s allegation is a work of fiction and probably designed to create internal unrest in the force and project the leadership of DSS in bad light before the President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

On the allegation that Bichi’s wife was working with Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Mr. President’s daughter, to extend the tenure of the DS DG, the group dismissed the allegation as a part of what was inherited from the 2023 elections politicking.

“While not holding brief for either the DSS DG’s wife or Mrs. Tinubu-Ojo, we can boldly state that the allegation is a clear extension of the 2023 electioneering campaign during which all manner of allegations were levelled against Mr. President and a number of his family members. As the nation’s number one secret service officer, the DSS DG has access to Mr. President and does not need his wife to lobby for anything he wants,” the group said.

“It is important to observe that shortly after he took over the reins of government, President Bola Tinubu changed the Service Chiefs, but in his wisdom, retained the heads of two of the secret service agencies, the NIA and the DSS. This suggests that the President may have assigned certain important roles to the heads of these agencies for which reason they are still in office. The President knows what he is doing. Trying to instigate operatives handling national security secrets will not augur well for Nigeria’s national security.

“There are a lot of wild and unfounded allegations in the statement by Jackson Ude and responding to all of them might be a waste of precious time. But we must not fail to respond to the one made against the person and office of the Adegboyega Fasasi, said to be the Chief Security Officer to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was accused of handling all postings in the DSS instead of the Directorate of Security Enforcement.”

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