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DSS to Labour: Stop planned nationwide hardship protests

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Department of State Services (DSS)

The Department of State Services (DSS) has asked the organised labour, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to desist from their planned nationwide protest.

DSS Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, Dr. Peter Afunanya, made the call in a statement issued on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

In the statement entitled “DSS enjoins organised labour to shun protest in the interest of peace“, Dr. Afunanya drew attention to plans by sections of the organised labour to stage protests between 27th and 28th February, 2024, in parts of the country over sundry economic issues.

While, recognising that protests are legitimate right of the labour movement, the secret police, however, urges the body to shelve the plan in the interest of peace and public order.

DSS further called on parties to pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engaging in conducts that could heighten tensions.

Afunanya claimed 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, he said, will worsen the socio-economic situation across the country.

The DSS scribe stated: “It is common knowledge that all levels of Government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given a 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.

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“In this vein, citizens are encouraged to recognise that what remains unsolved in peace time, would not be attained in war-time.

“The timeless piece of the esteemed Poet, JP Clark, “The Casualties” is a resonating reminder to us on the possible dangers of escalated conflicts.

“In time of trouble, everyone will be a casualty,” stated DSS.

Afunanya also noted that ongoing wars in the global scene is a stark reminder of their catastrophic repercussions on the affected countries’ domestic environments.

According to DSS, that prompts the critical need to protect and maintain our internal stability and unity.

He said further: “Those exploiting the fault lines in the country need to have a rethink as resort to negativities will endanger our peaceful coexistence with dire consequences.”

He, therefore, implored parents and guardians to exert authority in guiding their children and wards from inimical acts capable of jeopardising public safety and harmony.

DSS also called upon all sectors, including political parties, opposition groups, religious and traditional institutions, civil society and non-governmental bodies to eschew violence, 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,” he said.

He advised citizens to be vigilant and not allow fifth columnists and hostile forces or agents to use them to destabilise the peace of the nation.

DSS said it is opposed to violence as a means of settling our present-day challenges, be they economic, political or otherwise and will work with sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that lasting peace is maintained in the country.

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