The Department of State Services (DSS) has cautioned individuals and groups against making inflammatory statements ahead of the upcoming off-circle elections in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi States.
The DSS emphasized that any illegitimate acts or behaviors that threaten public order will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law.
The DSS has observed a concerning rise in incendiary comments made by influential individuals and representatives of non-governmental entities, both within and outside the country. Such statements are deemed detrimental to public peace and harmony. As a result, the DSS urged key political players and their supporters in the aforementioned states to abide by the rules of engagement and electoral laws to prevent any actions that could undermine the electoral processes.
Peter Afunanya, the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications at the DSS National Headquarters in Abuja, issued a statement reaffirming the agency’s commitment to ensuring smooth and hitch-free elections in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), other security agencies, and relevant NGOs.
The statement emphasized that resorting to divisive rhetoric would only escalate tensions and sow animosity among the populace. It also urged citizens, both at home and abroad, not to spread misleading or false narratives that could undermine or tarnish the country’s image.
The DSS stressed the importance of adherence to the rules of engagement and electoral laws during the gubernatorial elections scheduled for November 11, 2023, in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa States. However, it made it clear that any individuals or groups involved in illegitimate or disruptive activities would face the full force of the law. The warning serves as a reminder for all parties to act responsibly and within the boundaries of the law.