The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday, said it had “uncovered plans by some persons and groups desirous of taking advantage of latest developments in parts of the country to destabilize it.”
According to the DSS, highly-placed individuals and groups had concluded plans to cause ethnic tension and strife, through unguarded and inciting statements. It, however, said it had identified the “subversive and unscrupulous elements” and their sponsors bent on causing a breakdown of law and order in the country, vowing to stop them in their tracks.
The alarm comes few days after a coalition of ethnic nationalities – Afenifere, Ohanaeze, South- South Forum, as well as the Middle Belt Forum – urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to stop the attacks on parts of Southern Kaduna.
Also, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) had alleged what it feared was genocide in the troubled area. President of SOKAPU, Mr. Jonathan Asake, was quoted as saying: “The killings will not end. Did you see the statement by the Presidency issued by Garba Shehu?
“That statement only shows the conspiracy against our people at the highest level because what Garba Shehu said is a reflection of the thinking of Kaduna State government.” Also, a statement attributed to the Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBF) had read in part: “Only bloody-minded people will refuse to heed this advice now. It is quite worrisome that the orgy of killing has continued in spite of the curfew imposed by the state government.
“Instead of the Buhariled Federal Government of Nigeria stepping in to find a lasting solution in the midst of tardiness by the state government, it is unfortunate that it has resorted to provocative statements.
These are not responsible statements from any government in the midst of the body bags being counted daily by the people of Southern Kaduna.” In the same vein, a former Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, was recently quoted as saying the Southern Kaduna killings were “politically- motivated”. Against this backdrop, the secret police has vowed to bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone/ group exploring the fault lines, to threaten the peace and security of the nation.
In a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Dr. Peter Afunanya, the Service said it will work assiduously well with other “sister” agencies, in a renewed effort to guarantee the sanctity, inviolability and corporate existence of the country.
“Some prominent personalities and socio-cultural groups have resorted to divisive acts through inciting statements aimed at pitting individuals, groups and ethnic nationalities against another. The Service is, without doubt, aware of these plans and their sponsors.
“Consequently, it warns that it will no longer tolerate the orchestrations by subversive and unscrupulous elements to cause a breakdown of law and order in the country. “In this regard, it is working assiduously with relevant authorities and sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the sinister objective is not achieved.
“The Service reiterates its commitment to the internal security of Nigeria and will, within the confines of the law, decisively deal with planners of the mayhem,” Afunanya said.
He urged law-abiding Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, while disregarding the antics of agents of destabilisation. In doing so, however, they were enjoined to avail the Service and related agencies “with useful information about the activities of criminals and groups intent on instigating violence in the country.”