Kingsley Nweze in Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday said there were schemes by some politicians to smear its Director-General, Yusuf Bichi, and some of the service’s key officials.
A statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, said the politicians, as well as “disgruntled elements” within and outside the government were waging war against “the service’s uncompromising stance on some critical governance and policy issues.”
Specifically, Afunanya accused the politicians of using civil society and non-governmental organisations to discredit Bichi.
He asked Nigerians to, “be wary of these tendencies and ignore the antics of dark forces out to impugn the character of the DG.”
The DSS asked the public to, “be wary of these tendencies and ignore the antics of dark forces out to impugn the character of the DG.”
“Also, sections of the media have been briefed to implement the strategy through sponsored articles, commentaries and features to malign the DG, his family and select officials of the service,” the statement read.
“Those behind the plot have engaged civil society and non-governmental organisations to not only sustain, but stage further rallies, road shows and press conferences and use the occasions to discredit Bichi,” the statement read.
“The service is monitoring developments and will allow the plotters to either exhaust themselves or rescind the plan of action. Otherwise, no amount of intimidation, harassment and blackmail will deter it from discharging its duties.
“However, it would not idly watch a group of dissatisfied gangs undermine the service and its highly dedicated leadership and management.
“The DSS, therefore, wishes to inform the public to be wary of these tendencies and ignore the antics of dark forces out to impugn the character of the DG.”
Afunanya said the service would continue to confront threats to national security and was working to create a conducive atmosphere for the general elections.
“It restates its unalloyed support to the President on his resolve to continue to confront head-on, threats to national security as well as create the enabling environment necessary for the 2023 general elections to hold,” the statement added.
The statement came after a report that Bichi’s wife, Aisha, had ordered the arrest of the Kano State governorship candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Abba Yusuf.
It was reported that Aisha had ordered the arrest of Yusuf following a confrontation between him and the DSS DG’s wife at the VIP lounge gate of the Aminu Kano International Airport Sunday night.
However, Bichi’s son, Abba, had debunked the reports, stating that his mother didn’t order the arrest.
Also, recently, a number of CSOs had raised the alarm that the secret police made an attempt to frame the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for terrorism.
Apart from these CSOs, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had also said politicians were behind the plot to arrest Emefiele.
There were suggestions that the bid to arrest the CBN governor might be political given the impact the naira redesign project and cash withdrawal limits might have on vote buying during the elections.