By Nkiruka Nnorom
DEPARTMENT of State Services (DSS) weekend, in Lagos, commissioned 385 cadet officers in a bid to combat the rising security challenges in the country.
The 385 officers were the lucky ones that successfully went through 10 months of rigorous professional, academic and physical training and were certified fit to serve the nation in their capacity as members of DSS, out of the 459 cadet officers that started the training late last year.
The officers were commissioned amidst promises by the DSS to collaborate more with other sister security agencies in its fight against insecurity and to ensure that recruitment into the Service was merit-based in keeping with its extant guidelines.
Speaking at the passing out parade at the State Service Academy (SSA), Lagos State, the Director General, SS, Mr. Lawal Daura, said gone were the days when misfits or non-eligible candidates found their way into the Service.
“The aim is to ensure that only the right calibers of people are recruited into the Service,” he said, adding “recruitment will be strictly in accordance with future needs of the Service and other compelling exigencies that may come up from time to time.”
He said the commissioning was an attempt by the Service to rejuvenate itself through injection of new blood and new vigour, saying that any institution that fails to change with the times or periodically re-evaluate itself would ultimately become irrelevant or extinct.
He said: “I believe the Service requires new blood and new vigour to tackle the challenges of insecurity, the fight against corruption and the war to resuscitate the economy. These are the key areas the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to tackle and the Department of State Service has seamlessly keyed into them.”
He urged the officers to uphold the values and ethics of the Service as advancement in the career was hinged on knowledge of the rules and regulation as well as quality of professional skills demonstrated by an individual officer. “During your training, the values of discipline, loyalty and commitment to duty were constantly drilled into you. Discipline within the Service cannot be over looked or compromised. It is the bedrock upon which the Service is built. You must familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations of the Service. Any breach of the said rules and regulations will not be accepted,” he stated.
In his remark as the special guest of honour, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, emphasised the need for synergy among security agencies in the country, stressing that such collaborative and cooperative posture should not only be sustained at all levels, but strengthened to create an environment where the collective security output would meet national aspirations.
He charged the newly commissioned officers to work assiduously at ‘this critical period in our national development when all hands are on deck to exterminate terrorism from Nigeria.’
“You are all aware of various security challenges pervading our nation. These challenges include the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed banditry, kidnapping, militancy of various forms to mention a few.
In order to overcome these challenges, the whole nation relies on active participation of relevant stakeholders of which Department of State Services is one,” Olonisakin added.