The Department of State Services (DSS) has issued a cautionary statement regarding the rising trend of inflammatory comments made by influential figures and representatives of non-governmental entities within and outside the country. These comments are seen as a threat to public peace and harmony.
The DSS is concerned that such acerbic statements could not only escalate tensions but also sow seeds of animosity and division among the populace. Furthermore, these statements may harm the nation’s reputation, as its own citizens should not engage in activities that undermine the country through misleading or false narratives, whether at home or abroad.
With the elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa States now concluded, it is imperative that the nation moves forward with a focus on nation-building without hostility or acrimony. Reckless rhetoric has the potential to lead to social unrest and instability, putting the well-being and safety of citizens at risk.
The DSS urges key political players and their supporters in the mentioned states to adhere to the rules of engagement, particularly electoral laws, during the recent gubernatorial elections. The objective is to prevent any circumstances that could undermine the electoral processes. The DSS has been working closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), sister security agencies, and relevant non-governmental organizations to ensure smooth exercises in the affected states.
In light of this, the DSS calls upon all stakeholders, regardless of their political affiliations or grievances, to engage in respectful and constructive conversations that foster mutual understanding. National unity and peace are vital for the country’s development and security, and it is the shared responsibility and priority of everyone.
Election-related personnel, including the media and civil society, are encouraged to avoid actions that could incite emotions and lead to a breakdown of law and order. Broadcast and monitoring activities should be conducted without manipulation. Stakeholders are reminded that politics should not be a tool to harm the nation or any part of it.
The DSS warns that individuals or groups engaging in unlawful or disruptive actions will face legal consequences. Citizens are encouraged to be patriotic, putting their loyalty and love for the nation above individual or sectional interests. It is a call for unity and dialogue to contribute to the nation’s progress, building a stronger and more secure future for the country.