Refrain From Fake News, DSS Warns Political Players

Politicians and their supporters have been urged by the Department of State Services (DSS) to steer clear of hate speech, fake news, and other statements that might be detrimental to peaceful coexistence.

Additionally, it warned the public of coordinated plans by some individuals to completely destabilise the nation shortly after the gubernatorial and state assembly elections, which have been moved to March 18, 2023.

In a statement released on March 8 by the Public Relations Officer, Dr. Peter Afunanya, the DSS highlighted the apparent political tension that has been building throughout the nation in the run-up to the elections, noting that some of the key players are at cross-purposes.

It said: “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.”

The spokesman stated that the Service 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,” the statement further read.