JUST IN: DSS warns NLC and TUC against proposed two-day protest over hunger, says it’ll worsen situation

The Department of State Services (DSS) has asked the organized labour to shelve plans to stage protests in the country over the biting economic hardship.

Recall that NLC on Friday declared a two-day nationwide mass protest for February 27 and 28, 2024, over the economic hardship assailing Nigerians.

But in a statement on Wednesday, Peter Afunanya, DSS director of communications said though the Service recognises such action as the legitimate right of the labour movement, it, however, urged the body to shelve the plan in the interest of peace and public order.

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According to him, all the levels of government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given a benefit of the doubt.

He called on parents and guardians to exert authority in guiding their children and wards from inimical acts capable of jeopardising public safety and harmony.

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Afunanya further warned that DSS stands opposed to violence as a means of settling present day challenges, be they economic, political or otherwise, assuring that the Service will work with sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that lasting peace is maintained in the country.

The statement partly reads; “The DSS further calls on parties to pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engaging in conducts that could heighten tensions. This is more so that the Service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence. The development, without doubt, will worsen the socio-economic situation across the country.

“It is common knowledge that all levels of Government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given a benefit of the doubt. So far, appropriate authorities are working assiduously with a spectrum of stakeholders to fashion out modalities to address the current difficulties. They should, therefore, be given the chance to handle the challenges at hand.

“In this vein, citizens are encouraged to recognise that what remains unsolved in peace time, would not be attained in war-time. The timeless piece of the esteemed Poet, JP Clark, “The Casualties” is a resonating reminder to us on the possible dangers of escalated conflicts. In time of trouble, everyone will be a casualty.

“Also, ongoing wars in the global scene is a stark reminder of their catastrophic repercussions on the affected countries’ domestic environments thus, the critical need to protect and maintain our internal stability and unity. Those exploiting the fault lines in the country need to have a rethink as resort to negativities will endanger our peaceful coexistence with dire consequences.

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“Similarly, parents and guardians are implored to exert authority in guiding their children and wards from inimical acts capable of jeopardising public safety and harmony. Additionally, all sectors, including political parties, opposition groups, religious and traditional institutions, civil society and non-governmental bodies are called upon to eschew violence; demonstrate leadership and statesmanship in these challenging times. Making political capital out of the current situation or involving in divisive utterances at a time like this, will be of no benefit to any peace-loving Nigerian. Citizens are advised to be vigilant and not allow fifth columnists and hostile forces or agents to use them to destabilise the peace of the nation.

“The DSS stands opposed to violence as a means of settling our present day challenges, be they economic, political or otherwise. Accordingly, the Service will work with sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that lasting peace is maintained in the country,” the statement read.

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