The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned Nigerians, especially public figures and community leaders against making comments capable of causing ethnic crises.
Peter Afunaya, Public Relations Officer of the DSS said this in a statement, adding that individuals who make use of the social media do so to instill fear in the minds of the citizens.
Afunaya said, “Findings revealed that these unpatriotic actors make unguarded public statements and/or use the social media platforms to instill fear in the minds of citizens. These are reflected in the misleading statements and articles being circulated among unsuspecting members of the public. Such inciting materials oftentimes are designed to make or convey false accusations by one group against the other.
“They also resort to skewing historical narratives to suit their objective of masterminding ethnic violence in the nation. So far, some of the culprits have been arrested.”
He added that the security agency would continue to protect democracy and sustain its position on positively and gainfully engaging stakeholders while undertaking appropriate security measures against the undesirable characters whose preoccupation is planning to cause a breakdown of law and order in the country.
Afunaya warned individuals and organizations to immediately desist from making unguarded comments while urging aggrieved persons to engage in dialogue rather than engage in violence.
He said: “The service hereby warns individuals or groups involved in these divisive acts and tendencies to desist forthwith. While it is determined to ensure that the tribal chauvinists and mischief makers do not continue to exploit socio-political differences and the internet platforms to threaten the peace and stability of the country, it will, however, sustain the apprehension and prosecution of defaulters.
“Community leaders and persons of influence are, therefore, enjoined to be most responsible in their utterances as well as rein in (their) people for national cohesion and peaceful co-existence.
“Aggrieved persons and groups are encouraged to use dialogue as a true means of non violent resolution of disputes or any misgivings. It is believed that only when the country is united that she can achieve her greatness. It is also instructive to know that no country develops in an environment of chaos.”