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    DSS vows to clamp down on fake news, hate speech to prevent 2019 electoral violence


    The Department of State Services (DSS) has assured the public that it'll do everything necessary to ensure the success of the 2019 general elections that kick off in five days.

    In a statement signed by the agency's Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, on Monday, February 11, 2019, he urged all relevant stakeholders to be law abiding so as to ensure crisis-free elections.

    While promising that the agency will provide adequate security to ensure law and order, Afunanya said everybody's common aim should be the the conduct of successful elections that will be adjudged free, fair, transparent and credible and accepted nationally and internationally.

    He warned that the agency will not condone dangerous acts such as fake news and hate speech that could trigger violence before, during and after the elections.

    "The Service is determined to identify and arrest criminals and their collaborators whose activities are counter to the national objective of achieving peaceful and orderly elections.

    "Similarly, the Service will not condone fake news, incendiary or hate speeches designed to whip up dangerous ethnic, religious and/or political sentiments capable of stoking the embers of violence. 

    "Consequently, prospective law breakers are forewarned to steer clear of acts capable of undermining national security and stability.

    "The Service will, however, not stand idly and watch miscreants and mischief makers bring avoidable chaos and disorder upon the nation," he warned.

    Afunanya further urged members of the public to provide timely information regarding suspected thuggery, theft of electoral materials, violence of any dimensions and other plans that might negatively impact the elections.

    "The DSS encourages all citizens to responsibly exercise their civic duties without fear as security measures have been put in place for the safety of lives and property.

    "However, Nigerians and, indeed, residents are advised to be vigilant and promptly report, to security and law enforcement agencies nearest to them for deserved interventions, unusual activities or movements likely to undermine the elections," he appealed.

    Afunanya assured Nigerians that the DSS will professionally discharge its statutory mandate which, among others, is to detect and prevent threats and crimes against the nation's internal security.

    2019 general elections

    The 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16 while Governorship and State Assembly elections will take place on March 2.

    A total of 84,004,084 are registered to vote in the elections.




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