By Vincess Okushi

The Department of State Services (DSS) has urged some sections of the organized labor planning to stage protests between 27th and 28th February 2024 over economic issues in parts of the country to seek peace to ensure development.

A statement by Peter Afunanya, PhD,
Director, PR and Strategic Communications
Department of State Services, National Headquarters, Abuja 21st February 2024 in recognition of such action as the legitimate right of the labour movement appealed that parties should pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engaging in conducts that could heighten tensions. 

The Service while lamenting that the planned protest is an opportunity to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence, adding that,

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

It is common knowledge that all levels of Government are striving to facilitate 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.

In this vein, citizens are encouraged to recognize 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 on 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 rethink as resorting to negativities will endanger our peaceful coexistence with dire consequences.

The service, however, appeals to parents and guardians to exercise authority over their children and wards from inimical acts capable of jeopardizing public safety, and harmony.

Additionally, all sectors, 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 destabilize 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.

It therefore reiterates its stands against violence as a means of settling the present-day challenges, economically, politically, or otherwise, and vowed to work with sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure lasting peace.

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