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Claims against DSS DG that could alienate secret services personnel – Civil group

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The Nation Building Imperatives (NBI)-led coalition of civil organizations has issued a warning about the perils of politicizing and demeaning the country’s security apparatuses, stating that doing so would be detrimental to the endeavors to forge national unity and guarantee both internal and external security.

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The warning came when an X user named @jacksonpbn claimed that Bichi was corrupt, among other things.

According to @jacksonpbn, Yusuf Bichi, the security agency’s director general, stole a subsidy grant meant for employees.

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The Department of State Services (DSS) later rejected it as false, according to a report by Janescope In a statement made available to journalists on Saturday, Peter Afunanya, the DSS’s Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, stated that there is no such thing as a “goodbye allowance,” notwithstanding the DG’s alleged self-grant.

However, the Director General of the DSS has been the target of outrageous and baseless charges from the NBI, which has cautioned against casting doubt on the country’s secret service’s integrity in return for political advantage.

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The NBI observed that there were attempts to incite tension and dissatisfaction among the various secret service agencies, particularly the Department of State Services (DSS), the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and issued a warning that if the current war against the agencies is allowed to continue, the entire security architecture of the nation would significantly deteriorate due to the eroding influence of political carpetbaggers who do not have the interest of the nation at heart. The statement was signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Dagogo Henshaw, and Public Affairs Officer, Danjuma Mwantok.

The group advised Nigerians to work toward the preservation of the DSS’s reputation as the nation’s secret police, citing the media activities of a Nigerian Twitter user, Jackson Ude (now known as X), whose recent actions suggest a clear intention to tarnish the image of the officers and men of the DSS.

The group rejected as baseless and unfounded the claims that Bichi has refused to carry out a specific forty percent pay increase for officers and men of the Service, questioning how the establishment’s director could stop the execution of a welfare package that has already received approval.

“We see this as petty and baseless because the DSS DG cannot stop the benefit packages from being implemented for his employees when he did not grant the approval in the first place.

It is a well-known fact that the Nigeria Salaries and Wages Commission approves and oversees the pay and benefits packages of all federal government personnel, including those in the military and paramilitary services. How much more would it be to prevent the DG from interfering with the process given this established structure? The group posed the question, “What personal profits are due to the DG for stalling the welfare of his workers? Assuming that it was even the DG’s call to either implement or stall approved welfare packages for staff.”

The statement went on to say: “Anyone with a sincere desire to learn the truth can independently verify the facts regarding the pay and welfare of the Department of State Services staff as well as those of the other military and paramilitary services. These facts are publicly available.” It only takes a cursory glance at the media landscape to see that there isn’t a single place to execute a forty percent pay raise. We are aware of this because the Honorable Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, stated in an article in a national daily that he has been in discussions with the Nigeria Salaries and Wages Commission to regularize paramilitary officers’ pay so that it is comparable to that of Nigeria Police Force personnel. This essentially indicates that Messrs. Ude’s accusation is fictitious and was most likely made to sow discord within the force and discredit the DSS leadership in front of Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The group refuted the claim that Bichi’s wife was collaborating with Mr. President’s daughter Folashade Tinubu-Ojo to prolong the DS DG’s term, viewing it as remnant politics from the 2023 elections.

“We can confidently declare that the accusation is a blatant continuation of the 2023 electioneering campaign, during which numerous accusations were made against Mr. President and other members of his family. We are not holding briefs for Mrs. Tinubu-Ojo or the wife of the DSS DG. The DSS DG does not require his wife to advocate on his behalf because he is the top secret service official in the country and has access to Mr. President, according to the group.

It is noteworthy to note that President Bola Tinubu, in his wisdom, kept the heads of two secret service agencies, the DSS and the NIA, after replacing the Service Chiefs shortly after assuming office. This implies that the heads of these agencies may still be in position since the President may have given them specific, significant responsibilities. The President is an experienced operator. It will not be good for Nigeria’s national security to try to incite personnel who handle secrets related to national security.

“Jackson Ude’s statement contains a number of outrageous and baseless accusations, and it could be a waste of time to address them all. However, we can’t ignore the complaint made against Adegboyega Fasasi, who is allegedly President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s chief security officer, and his office. Adegboyega Fasasi was accused of managing all DSS assignments rather than the Directorate of Security Enforcement.

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