By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
A civil society organisation, Citizens United Against Subversion (CUAS), has appealed to Nigerians to disregard claims that the Department of State Services (DSS) denied one of its detainees access to medicare, saying investigations revealed that the secret service does not compromise on global best practices.
According to CUAS, apart from ensuring that suspects held in its custody are given proper medical attention, including those with underlying health conditions, the DSS also guarantees detainees good meals as well as other basic needs as allowed by law.
In a statement, Monday, by its National Coordinator, Dr Abu Mallam, and Secretary, Mrs Chinonyelum Ogundele, CUAS cautioned groups and individuals against tendencies that seek to undermine and cast institutions of state in bad light, especially security agencies, who toil day and night to deny enemies of state freedom of action.
“It is most uncharitable and unfair for anyone to accuse the DSS of allegedly denying a certain detainee access to medicare, considering the fact that the intelligence agency is well-regarded an one institution that does not compromise standards”, CUAS said.
“This is more so that never in the history of the nation has the DSS been as open to public scrutiny and democratic accountability is the case now under Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi (fwc), as the Director-General.
The group clarified that its position was a product of investigations, strengthened by periodic and discreet interviews with persons that had been held in custody, and respectable security experts.
The statement reads in full: “As a patriotic, non-aligned group, whose primary focus is the galvanising of support for the nation’s military and security agencies, we hasten to state that we are neither holding the brief of the DSS, nor we were induced to speak for the service.
“We further note that we have no affiliation with the secret police, which is the foremost domestic intelligence agency.
“However, as a non-profit organisation with interest in the sanctity and inviolability of Nigeria, we refuse to watch idly, while a few individuals and groups with vested interests attempt to put down institutions of government, through the instrumentality of propaganda, fake news and other inciting tendencies.
“We, therefore, call on members of the public to support our Armed Forces, and other security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies as they work tirelessly to execute their mandates.
“Nigerians must begin to call out individuals and groups, whose dispositions are seen to be unpatriotic and geared towards ridiculing government and her agencies.
“We conclude by urging security agencies to continue on the path of professionalism, discipline, rule of law and standard best practices”.