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The Department of State Services (DSS) has urged the Nigerian Labour Congress to shun its proposed nationwide protest scheduled to take place between 27th and 28th February 2024 in parts of the country over sundry economic issues.

In a statement signed by the Director, of the PR & Strategic Communications Department of State Services, Dr Peter Afunanya, said that 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.

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

Afunanya said: “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 a doubt, will worsen the socio-economic situation across the country.”

Afunanya stated that it was common knowledge that all levels of Government were striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given the 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,” said the image manager.

He continued: “In this vein, citizens are encouraged to recognise that what remains unsolved in peacetime, would not be attained in war-time. 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 negativities will endanger our peaceful coexistence with dire consequences.”

 

Similarly, he urged parents and guardians to exert authority in guiding their children and wards from inimical acts capable of jeopardising public safety and harmony.

Additionally, said Afunanya, 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.

He further stated: “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.”

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