The Department of State Services said it has observed with concern the deliberate plots and attempts by some subversive and undemocratic elements to incite or pit one ethnic group against the other by stoking the embers of tribal sentiments to cause disaffection and violence across the country.
The position of the Service was made known by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, in a statement on Wednesday.
Afunanya said: “Findings revealed that these unpatriotic actors make unguarded public statements and/or use the social media platforms to instill fear in the minds of citizens. These are reflected in the misleading statements and articles being circulated among unsuspecting members of the public. Such inciting materials oftentimes are designed to make or convey false accusations by one group against the other. They also resort to skewing historical narratives to suit their objective of masterminding ethnic violence in the nation. So far, some of the culprits have been arrested.
“In view of the Service’s mandate to detect and prevent crimes against the country’s internal security, it reiterates its commitment to the indissolubility and indivisibility of the country as enshrined in the Constitution. Similarly, it affirms its avowed dedication to the protection of democracy in Nigeria. In this regard, it will continue to sustain its position on positively and gainfully engaging stakeholders while undertaking appropriate security measures against the undesirable characters whose preoccupation is planning to cause a breakdown of law and order in the country.
“The Service hereby warns individuals or groups involved in these divisive acts and tendencies to desist forthwith. While it is determined to ensure that the tribal chauvinists and mischief makers do not continue to exploit socio-political differences and the internet platforms to threaten the peace and stability of the country, it will, however, sustain the apprehension and prosecution of defaulters.
“Community leaders and persons of influence are, therefore, enjoined to be most responsible in their utterances as well as rein in (their) people for national cohesion and peaceful co-existence. Aggrieved persons and groups are encouraged to use dialogue as a true means of non violent resolution of disputes or any misgivings. It is believed that only when the country is united that she can achieve her greatness. It is also instructive to know that no country develops in an environment of chaos.”