DSS Establishes New Directorate, Appoints Afunanya As Pioneer Director

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has established the new directorate of Public Relations and Strategic Communications and has appointed Peter Afunanya as the pioneer Director of the directorate.

This was made known in a statement posted on the Service’s official page on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Wednesday, adding its commendation to the Director General of the DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi for the innovative initiative.

The statement reads in part, “The Department of State Services (DSS), as part of efforts in sustaining its engagement with citizens and the public at large as well as deepening democratic governance, transparency and accountability, has established a new Directorate of Public Relations and Strategic Communications (DPRSC).

“Consequently it has appointed Peter Nnochirionye Afunanya, Ph.D, fsi, the erstwhile Public Relations Officer, to head the Directorate as the supervising Director and also be in charge of the Service’s public communications. The appointment took effect from 26the September, 2023. The Service has commended its Director General, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi CFR, fwc, for the initiative to undertake the expansion and particularly appointing Afunanya to pilot the Directorate.

“Afunanya comes to his new role with over 20 years 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.”

The statement disclosed that Afunanya obtained a Ph.D in Security and Strategic Studies from the Nasarawa State University, Keffi in 2019 and also a Master’s degree in Peace and Strategic Studies from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, in 2011.

He also obtained a Master of Arts degree in English Language from the University of Uyo in 2009; he graduated from Abia State University in 1997 with a Second Class Upper Division in English Language. Afunanya was also a recipient of President’s NYSC National Honours Award for Outstanding Performance (1998/1999) Service Year; Edo State NYSC Meritorious Honours Award (1998/1999). He was also a recipient of the DGSS Meritorious Award in 2021.

The statement revealed that since his enlistment in 1999, he has attended many courses such as leadership, executive intelligence management etc as well as attended countless foreign training programmes such as Innovation and Strategy at Harvard University, USA; Web investigation in London, Counterterrorism and Strategic Communication, Switzerland, amongst others.

He was also a member of the Board of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and subcommittee of the Presidential Transition Council. He is currently serving as a member of the Strategic Communication Inter-Agency Policy and Coordination Committee (SC/IPCC) in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Afunanya is a Fellow of the Security Institute (FSI) and member of several professional bodies such as Society for Peace Scholars and Practice (SPSP), Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NiCarb), American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), amongst others.

He is a patriot, a committed community worker and is married with children.