The Department of State Services ( DSS) said it has observed with dismay some persons who are desperately seeking for power using wrong and skewed narratives to mislead citizens and overheat the polity.
Mr. PN Afunanya, Public Relations Officer of the DSS, disclosed this during a press briefing, held at the Service National Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said the persons were already exploiting and politicising the issue of insecurity in parts of the country for pecuniary and other selfish reasons.
The persons acccording to Afunanya, want to cause divisions among citizens, while seeking cheap popularity and present the country as ungovernable.
” The Service therefore warns that those who involved in these should desist from such destabilising acts. It also enjoins politicians to play by the rule and avoid statements or activities capable of inflaming the fires of division and violence prior to 2023 elections.
The PRO urged opinion moulders like the clergy, religious and traditional rulers to guard their utterances and avoid inciting pronouncements.
Similarly in a related development, Afunanya revealed that it has been a common knowledge that criminal elements will heighten their inglorious activities before, during and after the festive periods.
He therefore, called on religious, community leaders, hoteliers and operators of markets, parks, recreational and relaxation centres to be on the alert and watch strange movements and activities around their facilities.” Such facilities include places of worship, palaces, markets, schools and other public buildings.
” Owners and operators of these public spaces and their patrons should endeavour to isolate and report suspected rogues to security agencies for prompt response.”
He consequently maintained that the Service’s interactive website and complaint lines will remain active and available to the public. Its formations at the State and local Government levels will be open 24 hours of the day.
” This is in line with the Service’s commitment and support to the populace.,”
Afunanya explained that as schools vacate and students return home for holidays, there is likelihood that subversive gangs will target them for recruitment for undesirable intents.
” These may include but not limited to financial crimes, armed robbery, civil disobedience and violent protests, substance abuse, banditry and kidnapping. In this respect, parents and guardians are advised to be watchful of their children and wards and ensure that they do not engage in unlawful acts. Aside students, recessing members of National Assembly, State Houses of Assembly and other public and private sector workers on vacation may be predisposed to threats of various degrees.'”
” This also applies to Nigerians who may travel from within and outside the country to join their loved ones for the celebrations.”
He said these individuals are susceptible to kidnapping, hijack, assassinations, armed robbery and political manipulations.
They are advised to be security conscious in order not to fall victims of these attacks and destructive political maneuvers.
He reminded those who sponsor kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, insurgency and all kinds of attacks on security agents, civilians and vulnerable populations should have a rethink.
” These persons, whether in the North or South, know themselves. There is no doubt that they have crossed the lines and it is now time to crush them.”
Read Also: DSS Produces Nnamdi in Court
Afunanya reminded Journalists of their duties in national security, as influencers, media practitioners are called upon to use their platforms to pursue peaceful coexistence.
” They must commit themselves to the unity of the country and shun misinformation, fake news, hate speech and such other misleading narratives.
” Journalists, while discharging their constitutional roles, are enjoined to be objective, conflict-sensitive and patriotic in their reportage.”