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News - Politics/Social - Thematterspress - May 18, 2019

Opposition hatching plan to put democracy on hold

Democracy

Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government of Nigeria has raised the alarm in support of the military and security operatives of ‘credible evidence” to back up its outcry that the opposition is planning to “sabotage the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, generally overheat the polity and make the country ungovernable”.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Saturday at the 2019 edition of his Annual Ramadan Lecture held at his home town Oro, Kwara.

The 12th edition annual Ramadan lecture was attended by Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, political stalwarts, traditional rulers, clergy men, Muslim and Christian faithfuls.

“As you are aware, a few days ago we raised the alarm that either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and its presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari Administration.

“Our interventions are based on credible evidence, and no government with the kind of evidence that we have, of plans to subvert the power of the state, attack the nation’s economic live wire and generally unleash mayhem on the polity, will keep quiet.

“The security agencies are all alert to their responsibilities and will not sit by and allow anyone to reverse the gains of our democracy under any guise,” he said.

The minister noted that similar alarms had been raised by the police, the military and the DSS.

He said the government will neither be distracted nor dissuaded by pseudo and partisan analysts that had teamed up with the opposition to “either exhibit their ignorance or to engage in red herring and name calling”.

The minister called on Nigerians to use the occasion of the Ramadan to pray for the peace unity and stability in the country..

“I make this request against the background of those who are daily plotting to exploit our national fault lines of religion and ethnicity.

“Those who masquerade as democrats but can’t take electoral defeat, those who will not hesitate to collude with anti-democratic forces to fan the embers of violence in the country

“Those who have elevated their personal ambition over and above our survival as a nation,” he said.

The minister thanked all Nigerians for their support and prayers for the Administration, and urged them not to relent, especially in the run up to the May 29 inauguration of the President.

He specially thanked Bagudu, Shittu and members of their entourage as well as other dignitaries for taking time out of their busy schedule to attend the lecture.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had also warned aggrieved politicians to desist, forthwith, from plans to take laws into their hands or engage in acts capable of breaching the peace, just the military earlier committed to democracy and vowed not to be dragged into unconstitutional change of government.

It also warned that it would not condone any form of extra-judicial activities or methods designed or adopted by persons or groups to subvert constituted authorities.

“Instructively, defaulting persons will surely be brought to book.” DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, warned in a statement.

The secret police condemned the recent activities of some unscrupulous elements in the name of Nigeria Continuity and Progress (NCP) which it said “unpatriotically called for a revolution and forceful change of government in the country’’.

It said it is aware that the “group is working in tandem with a body of subversive agents and adversaries of the Nigerian state, with an aim to create an atmosphere of insecurity and use same to cause disaffection among the people.’’

“It is evident that the misguided group and its cohorts have also planned to instigate widespread violence against the government in order to actualize their infamous agenda of forceful change of regime.

“In line with the service’s mandate of ensuring the internal security of Nigeria, the DSS said it will stop at nothing to achieve calm in the nation and will continue to work with other sister agencies and stakeholders to ensure that every segment of the populace pursues their legitimate aspirations in an environment that is devoid of fear or hindrance.

“The DSS not only supports the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria, but will leave no stone unturned in rooting out persons or groups desirous of truncating the process or undermining the country’s peace and corporate existence.

“The service will, therefore, not condone any form of extra-judicial activities or methods designed or adopted by persons or groups to subvert constituted authorities.”

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) similarly on May 14, warned that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has a document calling for the overthrow of the Muhammadu Buhari democratically-elected administration.

Navy Capt. Muhammed Wabi, Deputy Director of Defence Information accused a group, “Nigerian Continuity and Progress (NCP)’’ as being behind the document.

Wabi alleged that the document called for the setting up of an “interim government’’ in place of the elected government.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) wishes to dissociate itself from the rascality and intentions as espoused in a document being circulated by a faceless group named Nigerian Continuity and Progress (NCP) calling for support of a revolution to oust the current democratically elected government and in its place establish an illegitimate interim government.

“The AFN condemns the undemocratic and demonic actions of the author of the document.

“Accordingly, members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the content of the documents being circulated by NCP and equally condemned in totality, the call to derail our hard earned democracy,’’ the statement said.

Wabi said that the AFN was “very mindful of its constitutional responsibilities’’ and would not be misled into any act that would undermine democracy as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The AFN remains unflinchingly loyal to the Constitution, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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