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DSS urges NLC to shun protest in the interest of peace

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DSS stormed the Miyetti Allah’s Head Office

The Department of State Service, DSS, has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLS, to shun its planned protest over economic hardship in the country. 

The DSS, in a statement signed by Peter Afunanya, Director, PR & Strategic Communications, on Wednesday, urged the trade union to trade the path of peace dialogue.

Urging the NLC to seek peaceful negotiations with the federal government, the DSS noted that the planned protest would only overheat the polity and “without doubt, will worsen the socio-economic situation across the country.”

The statement from the DSS partly reads, “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by sections of organized labour to stage protests between February 27 and 28, 2024, in parts of the country over various economic issues.

“While the Service recognizes such action as the legitimate right of the labor movement, it, however, urges the body to shelve the plan in the interest of peace and public order.

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“The DSS further calls on parties to pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engaging in conduct that could heighten tensions.”

Furthermore, the Service warned that certain unscrupulous elements are planning to hijack the protest to foment widespread violence.

“This is more so that the service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment a crisis and, by extension, widespread violence.

“The development, without doubt, will worsen the socio-economic situation across the country.

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“It is common knowledge that all levels of government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and, as such, should be given the benefit of the doubt,” the DSS added.

The Service noted that the federal government is leaving no stone unturned in a bid to solve the economic hardship in the country.

The Service notes, “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 recognize that what remains unsolved in peacetime will not be attained in wartime.

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“The timeless piece of the esteemed poet JP Clark, “The Casualties,” is a resonating reminder to us of the possible dangers of escalated conflicts. In times of trouble, everyone will be a casualty.

“Also, ongoing wars in the global scene are 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 resorting to negativity will endanger our peaceful coexistence with dire consequences.”

The Service advised parents and guardians to warn their children and wards from joining such protests that may result in violence.

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“Similarly, parents and guardians are implored to exert authority in guiding their children and wards from inimical acts capable of jeopardizing 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 and 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 destabilize 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.

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“Accordingly, the Service will work with sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that lasting peace is maintained in the country,” the DSS stated.

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