The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned political actors against making comments that are capable of setting the country on fire.
Political conversations have taken an ethnic bent, particularly on social media, as the governorship elections approach.
In a statement issued by Peter Afunanya, its spokesman, the DSS asked Nigerians to embrace peace and shun acts capable of threatening national security.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) alerts the public of orchestrated plans by some persons to cause a total breakdown of law and order in the country shortly after the 11th March, 2023 Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections. It also wishes to draw attention to the unnecessary palpable political tension in parts of the country prior to the elections under reference. It is observed that some of the players are at daggers drawn with one another. The development holds dire consequences for national peace and stability,” it said.
“It is in view of these that the Service warns politicians and their supporters to engage constructively. Everyone is advised to shun fake news, hate speech and such other utterances that may be inimical to peaceful co-existence. Election should not be seen as a do or die affair. There is no basis for anyone to take laws into their hands. This is even more so that aggrieved persons can take advantage of our courts and seek redress. We should have faith in our institutions.
“Over this election period, the Service has remained committed to providing conducive environment for a peaceful exercise. In this regard, it separately and in collaboration with sister agencies, carried out mop up operations to thwart nefarious plans and activities of undesirable elements to outrightly undermine the electoral processes. For hitch-free gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, the Service has partnered with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the required peace is maintained before, during and after the exercises.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Service will work to make sure that no person or group, no matter how highly placed, disrupts the scheduled elections in any part of the Federation. It is committed to the safety and security of citizens who may wish to go out to exercise their civic responsibility. All and sundry are, therefore, enjoined to abide by the rules of engagement particularly the Electoral Act and extant guidelines.”