In its second advisory in the new year, Nigeria’s secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday warned Nigerians of alleged plans by some persons to foment ethnic and religious violence in some parts of the country.
Last month, the DSS alerted that some persons were stoking the flame of religious violence in the country amid rising security challenges in Nigeria.
A statement by Peter Afunanya, the agency’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), on Wednesday, cautioned against a continuing threat posed by domestic extremists with desperate efforts to “exploit some fault lines” in fomenting inter-religious conflicts.
This comes on the heels of calls by some ‘self-styled’ agitators to Fulani herders to vacate certain parts of the country, accusing them of kidnappings and killings.
The calls have since stretched to forceful evacuations of Fulani people in some parts of the Southwestern region of Nigeria, spearheaded by a private citizen, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho. Adeyemo’s method, though drawing popularity in the region, had been condemned by the Nigerian government and some intellectuals who feared it might spark a tribal war.
The secret police without giving specifics said the alleged persons had been trying to incite “unguarded and divisive statements and acts to pit citizens against one another in order to inflame the embers of tribal and religious discords.”
The DSS said it warned the “elements to desist forthwith from their (planned) nefarious acts or face the full wraths of the law”.
“The DSS will, in collaboration with other security and law enforcement agencies, take necessary steps to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizenry,” Afunanya said.
Ethnic tensions have resurfaced in the last few days following rising cases of herder-farmer conflicts across the country with some pro-Yoruba supporters threatening retaliatory attacks on Fulani herders in the Southwest as Boko Haram insurgency and banditry continues to ravage the North.
Critics have blamed the never-ending security challenges on the Nigerian government’s ineptitude to handling the situation.