Ahead of the governorship and state assembly elections in the country, the Department of State Services has raised the alarm that some undisclosed persons are planning to cause a “total breakdown of law and order.”
This is even as the service said it had observed there had been tension in parts of the country days before the polls.
In a series of tweets on his handle on Wednesday night, the spokesman for the service, Peter Afunanya, said the actions of politicians have consequences on the country’s democracy.
The tweets partly read, “The Department of State Services alerts the public of orchestrated plans by some persons to cause a total breakdown of law and order in the country shortly after the March 2023 governorship 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 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.”
He stated that the service with other agencies had embarked on operations to ensure that the elections were held peacefully.
Afunanya said, “Elections 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.
“Those operations were meant to thwart nefarious plans and activities of undesirable elements to outrightly undermine the electoral processes. For hitch-free governorship 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.”
He, however, enjoined politicians and citizens to stick by the rules before, during and after the elections.
“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. ”