ELECTIONS: DSS raises the alarm over alleged plans to cause disruptions

The Department of State Service (DSS) says it has uncovered alleged plans by unnamed persons to break law and order after the governorship and state of assembly elections rescheduled for March 18.

The service also said it had observed tensions in parts of the country ahead of the poll, warning against consequences.

There had been reports of palpable tensions in different parts of the country following the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25.

This development was on the backdrop of the alleged irregularities as well as operational failures which marred the exercise.

However, in a statement issued by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, on Wednesday, the service cautioned politicians against fueling the embers of violence, urging them to engage constructively.

The service also conveyed its determination to prevent orchestrated plans capable of undermining the smooth conduct of the forthcoming election.

The statement reads: “The Department of State Services (DSS) alerts the public of orchestrated plans by some persons to cause a total breakdown of law and order in the country shortly after the 11th March, 2023 Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections.

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“It also wishes to draw attention to the unnecessary palpable political tension in parts of the country prior to the elections under reference. It is observed that some of the players are at daggers drawn with one another. The development holds dire consequences for national peace and stability.

“It is in view of these that the Service warns politicians and their supporters to engage constructively. Everyone is advised to shun fake news, hate speech and such other utterances that may be inimical to peaceful co-existence.

“Election should not be seen as a do or die affair. There is no basis for anyone to take laws into their hands. This is even more so that aggrieved persons can take advantage of our courts and seek redress. We should have faith in our institutions.

“Over this election period, the Service has remained committed to providing conducive environment for a peaceful exercise. In this regard, it separately and in collaboration with sister agencies, carried out mop up operations to thwart nefarious plans and activities of undesirable elements to outrightly undermine the electoral processes.

“For hitch-free gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, the Service has partnered with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the required peace is maintained before, during and after the exercises.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Service will work to make sure that no person or group, no matter how highly placed, disrupts the scheduled elections in any part of the Federation. It is committed to the safety and security of citizens who may wish to go out to exercise their civic responsibility.

“All and sundry are, therefore, enjoined to abide by the rules of engagement particularly the Electoral Act and extant guidelines.”

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