The State Security Service has warned against comments that could breach public peace ahead of the November 11 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.
The SSS said this Thursday in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya.
“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 own citizens, whether at home or abroad, demarket or subvert her through misleading and false narratives,” said the secret police.
The SSS added, “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 have the capacity to lead to social unrest and instability, which can put the country’s well-being and the general safety of citizens at risk.”
The secret police urged key players in the elections and their supporters in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa to conform to the rules of engagement during the November 11 gubernatorial elections in the areas. It noted that the idea was to avert situations likely to undermine the processes.
The SSS said it was liaising with INEC, sister security agencies and relevant NGOs to ensure hitch-free elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo, calling on stakeholders, irrespective of their political affiliations or grievances, to engage in respectful and constructive conversations that promote collective understanding.
According to the SSS, public commentaries must 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,” the SSS statement explained. “Broadcast and monitoring activities should be devoid of manipulations.”
It added, “Stakeholders are enjoined to note that politics should not be used to destroy the country or any part of it.”
The SSS warned that individuals or groups engaging in illegitimate acts or inimical conduct to public order would be decisively dealt with as dictated by the law.