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DSS warns agitators, other “subversive and hostile groups,” says free speech doesn’t guarantee “reckless pronouncements”

The Department of State Services (DSS) on Sunday warned “misguided elements” who it said are threatening Nigeria’s unity and peaceful co-existence to desist from doing so.

Nigeria has been embroiled with aggrieved sections including agitators for Biafra and Oduduwa republics amidst killings, kidnap and other criminal activities across the country by non-State actors.

DSS Spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, said in a statement that henceforth, the Service will no longer tolerate those whose aim is to “throw the country into anarchy.”

According to the statement by De Afunanya, “while the Service reaffirms its unambiguous support to an indivisible, indissoluble and united Nigerian State in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, it will no longer tolerate deliberate machinations by subversive and hostile groups whose agenda is to throw the country into anarchy so as to serve the interests of their sponsors.

“Consequently, the Servcie is assiduously working with other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the maintenance of peace and internal security of the country.”

Afunanya said among those threatening the federal government and Nigeria’s unity are “some religious and past political leaders who have either called for a forceful change of government or mass action against it. It has been established that the main objective for these is to cause a disintegration of the country.

“It is unfortunate that those in the forefront of this are respectable individuals who should be patriotic and not allow their personal ambitions to ruin the nation. The Service has also noted their desperation and penchant to collaborate with external forces and influences against Nigeria.

“They are reminded that even though democracy offers free speech, it does not give room to reckless pronouncements capable of undermining security. It is instructive to note that the ballot box remains the vehicle of change in a democracy.

“In this regard, self-centred individuals and groups are warned to stop engaging in acts inimical to the peace and sovereignty of this nation. In the same manner, influential personalities should be sensitive to emerging situations and guard against divisive and inciting utterances that may cause a breakdown of law and order.”

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