The Department of State Services (DSS) has accused some social-cultural organisations and certain individuals in Nigeria of plotting to create chaos across the country.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) said it had withdrawn the registration certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other socio-cultural groups in Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer of DSS, Mr. Peter Afunanya, in a statement on Monday, said the Service “uncovered plans by some persons and groups desirous of taking advantage of latest developments in parts of the country to destabilize it.
“Some prominent personalities and socio-cultural groups have resorted to divisive acts through inciting statements aimed at pitting individuals, groups and ethnic nationalities against another. The Service is, without doubt, aware of these plans and their sponsors.”
To this end, Afunanya warned that Nigeria’s secret Police “will no longer tolerate the orchestrations by subversive and unscrupulous elements to cause a breakdown of law and order in the country”.
In this regard, he said, it is working assiduously with relevant authorities and sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the sinister objective is not achieved.
He reiterated the Service’s commitment to the internal security of Nigeria and will, within the confines of the law, decisively deal with planners of the mayhem.
Afunanya urged law-abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses and disregard the antics of agents of destabilization.
He, however, advised members of the public to avail the Service and related agencies with useful information about the activities of criminals and groups intent on instigating violence in the country.
Earlier, the CAC withdrew the registration certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other socio-cultural groups in Nigeria.
Disclosing this at the weekend in Abuja, the Registrar General of CAC, Mr. Garba Abubakar, said the measure was part of the reforms the Commission was putting in place to subject such applications to thorough scrutiny following security threats that may arise from such registrations.
The RG noted that the reforms are a measure put together to sanitise the Commission operations which lead to the recent withdrawal of the certificate of registration earlier issued to Ohaneze Ndigbo General Assembly.
He said: “Yes, we have withdrawn the certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly because the certificate should not have been issued in the first instance.
“We have an established protocol that all organizations; ethnic, religious with political implication should be referred for security clearance before such organizations are registered. In 2017, a similar organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide applied to be registered and security agencies rejected it.“It would have been a double standard to allow another organization to be registered. Up till now, Arewa Consultative Forum is not registered because they were not given security clearance, we have South-South Youth Forum, NorthEast Youth Forum and so many organizations that have not been allowed to register.
“What we have done after withdrawing the certificate (of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly), we now referred the application for security clearance, if at the end of the day we are advised that this object is consistent with what the law says, and the trustees are fit and proper, then we will go ahead, but till then, we have withdrawn the certificate and they have threatened to go to court, we are lawyers, we will meet them in court.”
BADEJO ADEMUYIWA has 23 years experience as a Finance Writer, specialising in Insurance and Investigative Reporting.