Amid incendiary altercations that ensued after the conclusion of the 2023 elections, the Department of State Services (DSS) on Saturday warned that it would not tolerate a situation where persons and groups would take laws into their hands and champion anarchy.
Rather than resorting to inciting violence, the secret police urged the political gladiators to utterly comply with the rules of the game and approach courts of competent jurisdiction for redress in areas where they suspected that extant electoral law was violated.
The secret police gave the warning in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Peter Afunanya issued in Abuja on Saturday, alerting the public of plans by some persons or groups “to violently disrupt peace in the country.”
The statement came barely 48 hours after the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), Festus Keyamo had petitioned the DSS over alleged inciting comments capable of disrupting law and order in the country.
Keyamo had, in specific terms, filed the petition against the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, and his running mate, Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed for allegedly making public utterances capable of inciting instability and violence.
In its statement on Saturday, however, the Service warned those desperate to cause a breakdown of law and order to desist from any plan or plot that could undermine the country’s peaceful co-existence.
The secret police advised political players to abide by the rules of engagement as well as approach the courts for redress, if and where there are suspicions of infractions on extant electoral laws.
According to the service, it was evident that some aggrieved politicians are already taking advantage of this legal process. This, without a doubt, is the beauty of democracy.
It observed that it was strongly believed that the approach would enhance peace and security, which according to him, all and sundry should cherish it.
However, the service sternly warned against heating the political environment, noting that the service “will not tolerate a situation where persons and groups take laws into their hands and champion anarchy.”
It added that those peddling fake news, hate speech, and all forms of false narratives “as a basis to ignite violence or pit the people against the present or incoming administrations, at the federal, state, and parliamentary levels, should stop forthwith.
“Those inciting violence have nothing to gain as doing so will not only consume them but also the innocent. It is otherwise disturbing to see respected personalities use their platforms to mislead or incite citizens. This, to say the least, does not augur well for peaceful coexistence and general order.
The service, therefore, noted that it would continue to take necessary measures to checkmate these elements that did not wish the country well.
It added that the measures “are necessary to ensure that the conducive environment is provided for citizens and residents to pursue their legitimate businesses. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine. Let all be guided.”