- Some media reports claimed DSS officers were at the Saudi Arabian recruitment centre in Abuja on Thursday, August 26, for Nigerian doctors
- The reports which cited eyewitnesses alleged that the security operatives halted the entire process and dispersed the doctors
- It was gathered that most of the medical practitioners were there for a better offer while some were eagerly looking for employment
- However, the spokesman of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, said the reports were fabricated to embarrass the security agency
The Department of State Services (DSS) has reacted to the reports claiming the recruitment exercise by a Saudi Arabian ministry of health at Sheraton Hotels, Abuja was suspended after its operatives stormed the venue on Thursday, August 26.
The Punch had reported that the security agents after arriving at the centre, dispersed the doctors and journalists.
The newspaper stated that a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Marcus Fatunde, was arrested at the venue, but was later released.
An eyewitness who spoke with reporters without disclosing his identity said:
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“When I came here, we saw the DSS operatives dispersing the people that came for the interview and before we knew it, everywhere had been scattered."
Moreover, wailing over the incident, one of the dispersed doctors stated:
“Some of us, who came here today, came because we don’t even have jobs and we don’t want to do the wrong things.
“We didn’t commit any crime; we just wanted a better system. So, why is the government trying to frustrate us?"
Reacting to the development, the spokesman of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, said the reports that the service dispersed doctors attending a recruitment exercise organised by Saudi Arabia in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were published to embarrass the institution.
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Afunanya, in a statement on Friday, August 27, while dismissing the reports, stressed that there was never a time its operatives dispersed any group of people, adding that it did not arrest any journalist in the process, Daily Trust reported.
The spokesman of the secret police described the reports as “falsehood being circulated in the media”.
”The attention of the Department of State Services has once again been drawn to a falsehood being circulated in the media that it dispersed doctors attending a Saudi Arabia organised job interview at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, yesterday 26th August 2021.
”Though this is illogical and does not add up, sections of the media that reported it did not care to verify the news before going to print.
“No further evidence was also adduced to prove that the DSS carried out such operation at the hotel.
”It is obvious that the news is only designed to embarrass the organisation."
Afunanya urged journalists and other media practitioners to crosscheck their facts and ensure that they do not use their platforms to mislead the public or undermine national security.
Saudi Arabia holds recruitment exercise for Nigerian doctors in Lagos, Abuja
Meanwhile, many medical doctors in Nigeria had applied for job positions with the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health at a recruitment exercise organised by the ministry in Ikeja, the Lagos state capital, on Sunday, August 22.
The job offer was for consultants and specialists in all medical fields, excluding psychiatrists.
Among those present for the interview were medical consultants and doctors in various areas of specialisation.
Each applicant paid N10,000 as the application fee after which medical certificates, means of identification, and other documents were tendered.
After payment, the medical doctors were screened before a panel of Saudi Arabian personnel.
Over 500 Nigerian doctors turned up at the recruitment exercise in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. A large crowd of doctors was seen within and outside the building during the exercise.