The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned politicians against using “hate speech” and other “false narratives” to incite violence or pit citizens against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari or the incoming administration of President-Elect Bola Tinubu.
DSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya said in a statement on Saturday that violence will consume politicians, inciting the breakdown of law and order.
The secret police warning came in response to a petition by Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo (SAN) who requested that the DSS invite the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over their statements seen as capable of inciting disorder against the president-elect.
Afunanya alerted the public of plans to violently disrupt the peace in the country and warned those “desperate to cause a breakdown of law and order to desist from that”.
“It would be recalled that the Service had earlier 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,” the statement partly read.
“It is evident that some aggrieved politicians are already taking advantage of this legal process. This, without doubt, is the beauty of democracy. It is strongly believed that this approach enhances peace and security. All and sundry should cherish it.
“Be that as it may, the DSS will not tolerate a situation where persons and/or groups take laws into their hands and champion anarchy. Those peddling fake news, hate speech and all forms of false narratives as 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.
“Therefore, the Service will continue to take necessary measures to checkmate these elements who do not wish the country well. This is 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.”