As part of efforts to maintain connection with individuals and the general public as well as to strengthen democratic governance, transparency, and accountability, the Department of State Services (DSS), has established a new Directorate of Public Relations and Strategic Communications (DPRSC).
Following the establishment, the secret police also named Peter Afunanya as the Public Relations Officer to Head the Directorate as the supervising Director and also be in charge of the Service’s public communications.
New Telegraph reports that the appointment took effect from Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
The DSS has commended its Director General, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi for the initiative to undertake the expansion and particularly appointing Afunanya to pilot the Directorate.
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“Afunanya comes to his new role with over 20 years of vast and rich experience in Intelligence analysis, threat assessment, security administration, VIP protection/detailing, investigation, counterterrorism, open source intelligence management, background checks and security vetting, surveillance, security sector/intelligence governance, democratic accountability in law enforcement, educational research, peace advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, development communication, interagency cooperation/liaison, joint operations, teaching, public and media relations, reputation management, strategic communication, protocol, and diplomatic affairs, writing, public speaking, stakeholder engagement among others.
“A Ph.D holder in Security and Strategic Studies which he bagged in 2019 from the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Afunanya also possesses a Master’s degree in Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, Kwara State from where he graduated in 2011. Similarly, he obtained a Master of Arts degree in English Language from the University of Uyo in 2009.
Earlier, Afunanya graduated from Abia State University, Uturu, in 1997 with a Second Class Upper Division in English Language. He was a recipient of the President’s NYSC National Honours Award for Outstanding Performance (1998/1999) Service Year; Edo State NYSC Meritorious Honours Award (1998/99) etc.
“Since his enlistment into the DSS in 1999, Afunanya has attended many courses in leadership, management, executive intelligence management, preventing and countering violent extremism as well as tradecrafts at the Service’s training institutions. Some of his foreign training programmes include Innovation and Strategy at Harvard University USA; Web Investigation, at City University, London; Security Management and Coordination, at ARC London; International Conflict, USA; Counterterrorism and Strategic Communications in Switzerland.
He has held many positions at the Service’s Headquarters, Commands, and Formations, the last being the Public Relations Officer. He was a member of the Board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Sub Committee of the Presidential Transition Council. He currently serves as a member of the Strategic Communication Inter-Agency Policy and Coordination Committee (SC/IPCC) in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
‘He is a Fellow of the Security Institute (FSI) and a member of many professional bodies including the Society for Peace Scholars and Practice (SPSP), Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NiCarb), Institute of Chartered Administration of Nigeria, the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN), Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).