The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned all ethnic groups against hate speeches and misinformation.
The security agency said it will deal with those found culpable while noting that it has launched an investigation to unmask the sponsors of the recent wave of hate campaigns and quit notice orders.
In a statement on Sunday, Tony Opuiyo, on behalf of the DSS, said the agency will stop at nothing to maintain peace and order in the country.
He said the DSS had watched with “keen interest the disturbing trend desperate and mischievous elements [who] have tended to steer the ship of our nationhood to calamity and irretrievable destruction” by giving ultimatum and counter-ultimatum.
Opuiyo said that those involved in the aforementioned acts have been warned to desist from any action that could nationwide tension.
“Only recently, the Arewa Youths in a press statement called for the relocation of the Igbos from the North. Unfortunately, this development has been followed by a release from an unknown source styled, Niger Delta Watchdogs, threatening all Northerners to quit Niger Delta region,” the statement read.
“Meanwhile, 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 ethnic group by Northern youths. However, 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 Owo-Akure road, Ondo State, on 3rd March, 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.
“In line with its statutory mandate of ensuring the internal security of the country, wishes to inform the public that it will 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 every length and breadth of the nation.”
The statement noted that the relocation order is not only illegal, but it is against the spirit of the constitution which provides for freedom of movement and association among others.
“The DSS, therefore, frowns at the tendency some ethnic chauvinists easily and cheaply resort to hate speeches, misinformation and total manipulation of information especially on the social media simply to fan the embers of discord and subvert the efforts of government in implementing its policies for the good of everyone,” it read.
“Well-meaning and law abiding citizens and residents are enjoined to disregard persuasion by these tribal jingoists to make our beloved country a theatre of the absurd and blood-letting. It is time for us, Nigerians, to show our humanness and patriotism which have been our defining strength as one united indivisible nation.
“The service has already commenced a detailed investigation to get the perpetrators of these hate campaigns 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.”
The DSS further reassured Nigerians that: “It will not leave any stone unturned to ensure that those who are bent on causing a breakdown of law and order are not spared.”
The service added that anyone who has useful information should come to it or the nearest security agency for prompt action.