Department of State Services (DSS) has tasked media practitioners to remain professional and objective in its reportage at these critical times, in order not to fan the embers of some individuals and groups who are desirous of causing a breakdown of law and order in the Country.

Director General, DSS, Alhaji Yusuph Magaji Bichi said this during a press briefing at its Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesay. He said the country is facing some serious security challenges, which call for serious concern of all stakeholders, especially the media practitioners.

He said; "The Service has observed that some persons who are desperately seeking for power use wrong and skewed narratives to not only mislead citizens but overheat the polity."

"Already, they are exploiting and politicising the issue of insecurity in parts of the country for pecuniary and other selfish reasons. Many simply want to use the situation to cause divisions among citizens, seek cheap popularity and/or present the country as ungovernable", he said.

The DSS also warned that criminal elements will heighten their inglorious activities before, during and after the festive periods. It therefore urged all religious and Community leaders, hoteliers and operators of markets, parks, recreational and relaxation centres are to be at alert at the times.

The DSS also alerted parents and guardians of the likelihood that subversive gangs will target the recruitment of holidaying students for undesirable intents like financial crimes, armed robbery, civil disobedience, violent protests, substance abuse, banditry and kidnapping. 

The Service also denied the alleged ill-treatment of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu in its custody. He said Nnamdi Kanu enjoys full luxury in the holding facility, incomparable to any of its type anywhere in the Country. He is said to be accorded full rights and privileges. 

"He is never denied his right of worship or freedom from his select religious practice. Adequate attention is paid to Kanu’s health. He has unhindered access to the best medical care and doctors. Kanu, himself, has confirmed to his visitors that the Service has never, in any way, maltreated him."

"He even confirmed this to the quartet of Senators Ike Ekweremadu and Enyinnaya Abaribe; Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Nigeria and Co-Chair, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace and Ambassador Okechukwu Emuchay, MFR, Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, who saw him on Wednesday, 8th December, 2021. The story of Kanu being starved is fallacious."

"He could not have been starved as he enjoys meals of his choice. That he is not allowed change of clothing is also false. He is regularly allowed change of clothing as against what is presented to the public by IPOB propagandists."

"Assuming he is being maltreated, how come his visitors told him he was looking well? All the allegations of violation of his rights as a suspect, victimization and starvation among others are not true."

"It is unfortunate that some elements have decided to use outright misinformation to represent the state of affairs. Those who make these false stories do so to attract undue attention for the singular purpose of achieving a desired end."

"Rather than focus on how he should get justice, Kanu’s legal team and some mischievous elements among them have chosen to use fake news to mislead the public. While the Court in its wisdom ordered that Kanu be remanded in the safer DSS Custody, some of his legal representatives, for reasons best known to them, preferred Kuje Prison and have failed to explain the rationale for such choice."

He called on the media to be mindful of her duty to the protection of National Security. He said; "As influencers, media practitioners are called upon to use their platforms to pursue peaceful co-existence. They must commit themselves to the unity of the country and shun misinformation, fake news, hate speech and such other misleading narratives."

He called on media practitioners to be objective, conflict-sensitive and professional in their reportage. The Service maintains that it will not hesitate to deal, in accordance with the law, with those who may wish to test its resolve in ensuring internal security and national stability before, during and after the yuletide. 

The DG, on behalf of Management and Staff of the DSS also appreciated everyone who supported the Service in its effort to ensure peace and security in the country. 

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