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DSS vows to end rights abuses, unlawful detentions

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DSS vows to end rights abuses, unlawful detentions

…says intelligence gathering to be prioritised

 

The days of arbitrary arrests and detentions may soon be over as the Department of State Services (DSS) has vowed to return to the path of professionalism. Acting Director-General (DG) of the Service, Mr. Matthew Seiyefa, who gave the undertaking at a maiden press briefing in Abuja yesterday, said efforts will be intensified at changing public perceptions about the secret service. Specifically, the Service’s DG, who was appointed on Tuesday following the sacking of Mr. Lawal Daura, said adherence to the rule of law and respect for human rights will define the security agency henceforth. Criticisms have continued to trail the failure of DSS to release a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who has remained in detention, despite several orders of court for his release. According to Seiyefa, the secret police’s core mandate of protecting and preserving national interest will be guided jealously, while according priority to intelligence gathering and analysis.

“At the moment, we are reviewing all issues that have brought about unhelpful perceptions about the service in recent times, including detentions (we are reviewing all cases of detentions), perceived human rights abuses, public misperceptions and purposes of some of our recent actions, in order to learn lessons where we have undertaken actions that were perceived adversely and ensure that we enjoy the confidence of the public. “We will do our utmost to protect our people and execute our mandate. We will not tolerate the abuse of freedom of Nigerians, but we will also not be intimidated, no matter what. The Service has its statutory mandate,” Seiyefa said. According to him, “the Service, as you very well know, is a critical one, in national security management. Our core objective is promoting the national interests in all situations.

“We will respect the rights of people, the rights of groups, so long as they are legitimate rights, and they are engaged in legitimate actions. We will respect them. “We will work on the basis of our core rules and our core mandate, which is the detection and prevention of threats against the internal security of Nigeria. “But, we also will reemphasise that under this current dispensation, intelligence gathering has been an issue. We will also redouble our efforts in that direction. “Intelligence gathering, intelligence collection and analysis – because, one thing is to gather intelligence, another one is to analyse intelligence – to guide policy formulation, to guide security management.” Seiyefa further said that in the face of contending issues in the polity, the Service will distil all and ensure that in the final analysis, national interest supersedes. His words: “We have diverse interests in contention at every point in time, especially in a democratic dispensation. But, we try to, in all these contending situations, in all issues that are being contested by various interests, we try to distil the national interest, and work towards attaining that national interest. “A lot of reporting is going on about the role of this Service. In all these, I want to assure you that we will continue to protect the national interest. “And, of course, in an election year, you expect that these contending interests assume greater manifestations. Our own is to distil in all these, what is the national interest and promote and protect that national interest.” The DSS boss also pledged to partner stakeholders, especially sister security agencies, as well as the media, which, he counselled, should be objective in their reportage. He said: “We like you (media) to report us objectively. We are for national interest and it’s not a question of promoting any individual or sectional agenda. And, in doing all these, we are also cognisance of the fact that we operate in a democratic setting. So, respect for the rights of persons – whether group rights, or individual rights – will be adhered to. “And, I want to emphasise that we will partner with all stakeholders.”

 

 

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  1. Pingback: DSS vows to end rights abuses, unlawful detentions — New Telegraph - Naijaray Headlines

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