2023 poll: DSS cautions political elites against instigating violence during electioneering
The State Security Service has cautioned politicians and other stakeholders against indulging in acts capable of frustrating the credible process and the peaceful atmosphere of the 2023 elections.
The service specifically warned broadcasting stations in the country to guide against unguided utterances and inflammatory remarks that could ignite political discord during the electioneering campaign.
The Director General of the service, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, issued the warning in Kano at a Sensitisation Forum on Political Broadcasting organised by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), ahead of the election campaign in the country.
The DG, who was represented by the service spokesperson, Dr. Peter Afunanya, explained that the political class seeking to occupy elective positions can only secure the opportunity in a peaceful atmosphere.
The DG DSS worried that many elites considered their personal interest while embarking on a political voyage at the detriment of national interests. He, therefore, insisted the service would go to any length to protect the national interest.
The service pledged to work with National Broadcasting Commission and other stakeholders to guide against fake news and other destructive tendencies in the media, capable of destroying the peace and national integrity of the country.
He said the service is working with other sister security agencies to instill orderliness and a conducive atmosphere as the nation begins campaign season just as he cautioned those planning to ferment trouble to desist.
Earlier, NBC Director General Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, said the commission would sanction any broadcaster who circumvent the code of conduct, the Electoral Act. and other extant laws while engaging in 2023 political campaigns.
The DG cautioned that broadcasters are not statutorily empowered to announce or declare an election prior to the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He warned that any media who unilaterally assumed the position of INEC would be dealt with appropriately.
Ilelah equally reminded broadcasters drawn from North West and North Eastern parts of the country of the statutory responsibility of NBC to ensure a safe and peaceful ecosystem before and during the election and insisted that practitioners must act responsibly.
According to him, “broadcasters are meant to offer an equal platform for the exchange of ideas in a fair manner. Political broadcasting must be tailored to promote national unity, political Harmony, and tolerance.
“It will not be business as usual. Broadcasters must desist from spreading fake news, hateful speeches, and derogatory remarks. We have to promote peace, not violence, educate not misinform, and safeguard and not destroy the society,” Ilelah said.