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Kidnappers targeting Nigerian lawmakers for abduction and assassination — DSS

The State Security Service, SSS, has advised federal and state lawmakers, public functionaries, travellers and students on vacation to be security conscious and avoid being soft targets of subversive elements.

Dr Peter Afunanya, the Information Officer of the SSS, who gave the advice at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, also warned sponsors of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, insurgency and other vices to desist from their evil acts.

“Let me reiterate at this juncture that those who sponsor kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, insurgency and all kinds of attacks on security agents, civilians and vulnerable populations should have a rethink.

“These persons, whether in the North or South, know themselves. There is no doubt that they have crossed the lines and it is now time to crush them,’’ he said.

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Mr Afunanya called on parents and guardians to be watchful of their children and wards as students return home for Yuletide.

He said the advice was necessitated because subversive gangs could target them for recruitment for undesirable intents.

“Aside students, recessing members of National Assembly/State Houses of Assembly and other public/private sector workers on vacation may be predisposed to threats of various degrees.

“This also applies to Nigerians who may travel within and from outside the country to join their loved ones for the celebrations.

“These individuals are susceptible to kidnapping, hijack, assassinations, armed robbery and political manipulations and so, are advised to be security conscious, not to fall victims of these attacks and destructive political maneuvers,” he added.

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According to him, it is common knowledge that criminal elements will heighten their inglorious activities before, during and after the festive periods.

“Therefore, religious and community leaders, hoteliers and operators of markets, parks, recreational and relaxation centres are to be at alert and watch strange movements and activities around their facilities.

“Such facilities include places of worship, palaces, markets, schools and other public buildings.

“Owners and operators of these public spaces and their patrons should endeavour to isolate and report suspected rogues to security agencies for prompt response,” he said.

Mr Afunanya said further that the service had observed that some persons seeking for power desperately use wrong and skewed narratives to mislead citizens and overheat the polity.

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According to him, they are exploiting and politicising the issue of insecurity in parts of the country for pecuniary and other selfish reasons.

He said their target was to use the situation to cause divisions among citizens, seek cheap popularity and, or present the country as ungovernable.

Mr Afunanya, therefore, warned those involved to desist from such destabilising acts, and appealed to politicians to play by the rule.

He also appealed to them to avoid statements or activities capable of inflaming the fires of division and violence prior to 2023 elections.

Mr Afunanya called on opinion leaders, including clerics and traditional rulers, to guard their utterances and avoid inciting pronouncements. NAN

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