With less than one month to the general elections, the Federal Government on Monday raised alarm that some opposition politicians were mobilizing criminal elements to cause chaos with a view to triggering a constitutional crisis that could led to the establishment of an Interim Government.
Addressing a world press conference in Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the unnamed opposition figures, faced with imminent defeat, were resorting to desperate tactics.
According to him, “As you are aware, Nigeria goes to the polls just 27 days from
now. However, the Federal Government is in possession of credible
intelligence to the effect that widespread violence being orchestrated
by the opposition is threatening the 2019 general elections.”
He added that “You have definitely seen the massive and warm reception that
President Muhammadu Buhari has been receiving across the country,
compared to the thinning crowds that have been attending the
The Information Minister stressed that “Having realized that their fortunes have dwindled badly ahead of the polls, the desperate opposition is orchestrating
widespread violence with a view to truncating the elections, thus triggering a constitutional crisis that could snowball into the establishment of an interim government.”
Alhaji Mohammed while dismissing possible insinuations that government was crying wolf said “Before you accuse the government of crying wolf, let me tell you, gentlemen, that we have credible intelligence that armed bandits and Boko Haram insurgents have been mobilized to engage in massive attacks and other acts of violence in several states across the country, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara.
“The Benue-based armed criminal group, led by Terwase AKWAZA, also known
as Gana, has been commissioned to strike soft targets in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States. In Kano State, a group of notorious miscreants have been mobilized by some prominent opposition leaders to provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections. There is also an international dimension to the evil plan. Some armed
mercenaries from Niger Republic have been contracted to attack top
government functionaries, including state governors, across the
North-west between now and the elections.”
The Minister said the relevant security agencies were up to the tasks to abort the designs to truncate the forthcoming polls and added that the Federal Government was already working with the Niger Republic authorities on the international dimension to the plots.
According to him, “ The Federal Government is taking every possible measure to counter these evil plans by unpatriotic anarchists and ensure the success of the 2019 General Elections. The Administration’s commitment to a credible, free, fair and peaceful elections is unshaken. After all, according to the online encyclopedia – Wikipedia – elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century.”
Alhaji Mohammed said government was making information at its disposal public in order to alert Nigerians and the media.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to be vigilant in the days ahead. We also appeal to the media to help in sensitizing members of the public on these observed threats, which are capable of disrupting the elections. The punchline of our long running campaign on security – if you see something, say something – remains relevant, perhaps even more, at this time,” he said.
He assured that “all the relevant agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture will work together to ensure that Nigerians are alerted to the dangers posed to the forthcoming elections by unscrupulous, unpatriotic and desperate characters who will not
hesitate to destabilize the country if they cannot achieve their inordinate ambition.”