The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned against comments that could run against public peace and harmony ahead of the Nov. 11 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications of the Service, Dr Peter Afunanya on Thursday in Abuja.
The DSS had observed rising trends and patterns of incendiary comments by some personalities of influence and representatives of non-governmental entities within and outside the country.
According to the department, such statements run against public peace and harmony.
“It is strongly believed that a resort to acerbic pronouncements by certain persons will not only heat up the polity but set the ground for deep-seated animosities and divisions among the populace.
“Also, it serves the country no good if its citizens, whether at home or abroad, demarket or subvert her through misleading and false narratives.
“With the elections and the attendant contentions legally over, it is expected that we should forge ahead in nation-building without rancour or acrimony.
“This is against the backdrop that reckless rhetorics can lead to social unrest and instability, which can put the country’s well-being and the general safety of citizens at risk,” the DSS said.
The department urged key players in the elections and their supporters in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa states to conform to the rules of engagement during the Nov. 11 gubernatorial elections in the areas.
The department said the idea was to avert situations likely to undermine the processes.
The DSS said the Service had liaised with INEC, sister security agencies and relevant NGOs to ensure hitch-free exercises in the affected states.
The DSS called on stakeholders, irrespective of their political affiliations or grievances, to engage in respectful and constructive conversations that promote collective understanding.
According to state security, it has thus become imperative that public commentaries should shift towards unity and peace necessary for national development and security.
“Those on election duties, including the media and civil society, are encouraged to avoid things that will inflame sentiments and cause a breakdown of law and order.
“Broadcast and monitoring activities should be devoid of manipulations.
“Stakeholders are enjoined to note that politics should not be used to destroy the country or any part of it,” the DSS added.
The DSS warned that individuals or groups that would engage in illegitimate acts or inimical conduct to public order would be decisively dealt with as dictated by the law. (NAN)