Matthew Seiyefa, the new Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS), says the service will review all the complaints of human rights abuse and illegal detention in order toregain public trust in the agency.

He disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during his maiden press conference at the headquarters of the service. 

He said the service will respect the rights of the citizens in the discharge of its role and protect the national interest.

“Our interest and core objective is to promote the national interest because we have diverse interest in contention at any point in time especially in the democratic dispensation, but we try to in all these contending situations, in all issues contested by various interests, we try to distill the national interest and work towards attaining that interest and of course in an election year you expect that these contending interests assume greater manifestation. Our role is to promote and protect that national interest,” he said.

"We will ply our trade within the tenets of democracy, rule of law and consonant with global best practices. We know that we are not in an island of our own. It is a globalised world; anything we do is open to scrutiny; we are cognisant of that."

He also vowed that the service would not be intimidated, irrespective of the interests. He said it would work within its core mandate of detection and prevention of threat against the internal security of the country.

He said: "I want to emphasise that we will partner with all stakeholders; that is another concern that has been expressed from the public place. At times it is overstated, but it is a concern whether the agencies are working together. Some say agencies are fighting, some say they are working at cross purposes.

“We are very sensitive and positively disposed to collaborating with other agencies. We expect them to collaborate with us; where it concerns them we will collaborate with them. As I said, it is about national interest. 

"We will not also be intimidated no matter what; the service has its statutory mandate. No matter what, we will not be intimidated. I know that this season especially, there is diverse interest at play. People will keep discussing and trying to demonise the service and all that, but we will not be cowed and we will protect our mandate.

"We are reviewing all issues that brought about some unhelpful perception of the service in recent times, including court cases on detentions, perceived human rights abuses, public misconception of understanding and some of our recent actions; we are reviewing all these. In order to learn the lessons, we have undertaken action to ensure that we enjoy the confidence of the public.”

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