About two weeks after a coalition of Northern groups gave a three-month ultimatum to Igbos to leave Northern Nigeria, the State Security Service has reacted to the call.
The SSS, which has the “statutory mandate of ensuring the internal security of the country,” has been criticised by many Nigerians for not acting promptly to arrest those behind the call.
The call by the Northern coalition has been condemned by the Nigerian government, the UN, the Kaduna State government and several others with the government promising to ensure the security of lives and property of all Nigerians.
On Sunday, in a statement distributed by PR Nigeria on behalf of the SSS, the agency said it “has watched with keen interest the disturbing trend desperate and mischievous elements have tended to steer the ship of our nationhood to calamity and irretrievable destruction.”
The SSS said it is aware of the threat against Igbos as well as similar ones by other ethnic chauvinists.
The agency said “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.”
FULL STATEMENT BY THE SSS BELOW;
The Department of State Services (DSS) has watched with keen interest the disturbing trend desperate and mischievous elements have tended to steer the ship of our nationhood to calamity and irretrievable destruction.
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.
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.
Consequently, the Service, 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.
To this effect, it warns, in very clear terms, all those who are charting the course of disunity among Nigerians to desist from their divisive actions. The Service is also not oblivious of the efforts of some miscreants to ignite fear and cause ethnic tensions across the country. It strongly condemns in its entirety the call for relocation of anyone to places against their wishes. Such relocation order is not only illegal, but it is strongly viewed to be against the spirit of our Constitution which allows for freedoms 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.
Well-meaning and law-abiding citizens and residents are enjoined to disregard persuasions by these tribal jingoists to make our beloved country a theatre of the absurd and bloodletting. 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 Service wants to reassure the entire populace 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.
Meanwhile, anyone with useful information is also encouraged to volunteer same to the Service or the nearest security agency/formation for prompt action.