Department of State Services (DSS) has denied media reports that it is advocating for the tenure elongation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
This came after an online medium reported that the DSS had told journalists, CSOs and others that there would not be elections in 2023.
Reacting to the allegation, DSS spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, said the information was false and fabricated to malign the service and totally misleading.
Part of the DSS statement read that: “The attention of the Department of State Services has been drawn to a misleading and mischievous publication titled ‘Nigeria’s Secret Police, DSS Tests the Water on Tenure Elongation for Buhari, Tells Journalists, CSOs 2023 Elections May Not Hold’.
“In the said report, the service was accused of informing participants at its April 6th brainstorming session with CSOs/NGOs that the 2023 general elections might not hold due to insecurity. The report further stated that the session was a ruse to sell tenure elongation to the public.”
Afunanya said “the DSS disassociates itself from the publication and categorically states that the information is false and obviously fabricated to malign it and mislead the populace.
“It is curious that the session which was applauded and described as innovative by participants including credible civil society groups would be misrepresented. The Online paper, in its characteristic gutter journalism, had initially claimed that participants at the session were harassed. When the fake news did not garner the expected attention, it resorted to another gimmick aimed at dragging the service into an unnecessary term elongation debate.
“However, the statement by the Presidency reiterating its definite stance to hand over power to a new president on 29th May 2023, has vindicated the service and countered the deliberate effort by the online medium to create confusion. While the service, in the circumstance, aligns with the presidency, it urges the public to disregard (the report).
“The paper has not only remained biased and sensational in its reportage, it has sustained seditious attacks against security institutions and particularly the service which may not hesitate to seek legal redress in the face of continued misrepresentation
“Meanwhile, politicians and highly placed personalities are advised to desist from making unguarded statements capable of derailing efforts to deepen the country’s democracy as well as mobilise citizens for national unity and stability.”
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