Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Department of State Services has warned groups including northern youths and the Niger Delta militants against hate speeches.
The DSS, which stated this in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, in Abuja on Sunday, said it had observed how some Nigerians had been preaching hate in the last few weeks.
The DSS spokesperson described the trend as disturbing and warned those he called desperate and mischievous elements, to stop in their attempt to steer the ship of Nigeria to calamity and irretrievable destruction.
He also warned all those it said were charting the course of disunity among Nigerians to desist from their divisive actions.
Recently, a coalition of some Arewa youth groups had in a press statement called for the relocation of the Igbo from the North.
More than 10 days after the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, ordered their arrest, none of the security agencies had made attempt at apprehending them.
But Opuiyo regretted that the action of the Arewa youths had been followed by a release from an unknown source styled, the Niger Delta Watchdogs, threatening all northerners to quit the Niger-Delta region as well.
He said that another group went to the extent of harvesting from the Internet, a horrific accident scene, for the purpose of making it look like a site of massacre of Igbo by northern youths.
He, however, said that the “service has been able to establish that the purported murder scene being depicted as a field of massacre was a high casualty accident scene which occurred along the Owo-Akure Road, Ondo State, on March 3, 2016.
“Those involved in these misleading and despicable acts have since been warned to desist from anything capable of causing disaffection and stoking nationwide tensions.”
Consequently, he said that the service, in line with its statutory mandate of ensuring the internal security of the country, would stop at nothing to deploy all resources at its disposal to identify and deal with all those culpable, as well as maintain peace and order in the country.
“To this effect, all those who are charting the course of disunity among Nigerians must desist from their divisive actions,” he warned.
He added, “The service is also not oblivious of the efforts of some miscreants to ignite fear and cause ethnic tensions across the country.
“It strongly condemns in its entirety the call for relocation of anyone to places against their wishes. Such relocation order is not only illegal, but it is strongly viewed to be against the spirit of our constitution which allows for freedom of movement and association among others.”
Opuiyo said that the DSS also frowned on the tendency which he said some ethnic chauvinists easily and cheaply resort to in order to achieve their devilish aims.
For example, he said some of them resort to hate speeches, misinformation and total manipulation of information especially on the social media to fan the embers of discord and subvert the efforts of government in implementing its policies for the good of everyone.
He called on well-meaning and law-abiding citizens and residents to disregard persuasions by those he described as ethnic jingoists to make the country a theatre of the absurd and bloodletting.
Rather, he said it was time for Nigerians to show their humanity and patriotism which he said had been their defining strength as one united indivisible nation.
He added that the service had “already commenced investigation to get the perpetrators of these hate campaigners as well as their sponsors.
“At the appropriate time all those involved in these condemnable acts will be unmasked and decisively dealt with in line with the laws of the land.”
He added that the service “would not leave any stone unturned to ensure that those who are bent on causing a breakdown of law and order are not spared.”
The DSS spokesperson called on anyone with useful information on how to get those behind the hate speeches to volunteer same to the “service or the nearest security agency/formation for prompt action.”