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‘Our official didn’t slap any airport worker’ — DSS counters FAAN



The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied the claim by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that its official slapped an airport worker.

FAAN had alleged that Safiyanu Abba, head of the DSS at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja, stopped an aviation officer from searching a visitor who set off a metal detector.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the aviation agency added that during the incident which took place on July 17, Abba slapped the aviation security officer.

“We note with dismay that Safiyanu Abba, the head of DSS at NAIA, deliberately obstructed airport security process, and slapped an aviation security officer who was performing his duty,” the tweet by FAAN read.

However, Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, has denied the allegation.

In a statement, he said the DSS promotes cordial relations with other agencies, and prioritises good conduct among members of its staff.

“The attention of the Department of State Services has been drawn to the official release by FAAN that its staff was assaulted by the DSS Head of Formation at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. FAAN also accused him of breaching security protocol at the Airport. So far, it has not been established that any FAAN staff was assaulted,” Afunanya said.

“DSS personnel are well mannered and could not have slapped or fought a worker of another agency.

“The news, as reported by sections of the media, has left an impression that is not factual and should therefore be disregarded.

“For the record, no DSS staff fought or engaged in any acts prejudicial to discipline or inimical to public safety at the Airport under reference.”

He said there is a smooth relationship between both agencies, adding the DSS would not join issues with FAAN.

“In line with its statutory duties, the Service recognizes the Airports as one of the country’s most important assets and has remained at the forefront of protecting them and other critical ones. It takes their security seriously and cannot breach it,” he said.

“As a strategic partner, the Service holds FAAN and its staff in good esteem. Both agencies have, over time, enjoyed robust working relationship in the areas of training and exchange programmes. For these reasons, the DSS will not join issues with it.

“It is believed that there are other avenues than the social media to resolve any misunderstanding among staff of two agencies that have had long history of unity of purpose in the execution of their mandates.

“It should be noted that the Service and the DGSS place premium on effective interagency collaboration needed to achieve positive outcomes for good of the nation and citizens.”

The spokesman urged the “travelling public” to go about their normal business, and assured them of the agencies’ commitment to ensuring safety at airports.