Posted by Grand News | 22 January 2019 | 479 times
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has accused the opposition of mobilising armed bandits and Boko Haram insurgents to perpetrate massive acts of violence during the general elections.
Channels TV reports that Mohammed made the allegation on Monday while briefing reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He claimed that the plan was to disrupt the polls in several states in the north-east, north-west, and north-central states of the country.
“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 mobilised 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,” he alleged.
In a swift reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) denied the allegations through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
Mr Ologbondiyan, who also addressed a press conference at the Legacy House in the nation’s capital, said the claims by Mr Mohammed were false, ridiculous, and irresponsible.
He, however, thanked the minister for revealing what he described as the “nefarious plans” of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the public.
The PDP spokesman went on to accuse the ruling party of working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the elections.
He alleged that this was why the government kept Mrs Amina Zakari in the commission and insisted that her appointment as chairperson of the Collation Centre Committee must be reversed.
But the minister alleged further, “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 mobilised by some prominent opposition leaders to provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections.”
The minister insisted that having noticed their dwindling fortunes, the alleged plot by the opposition was to spread violence across the country to truncate the electoral process.
He claimed that this was intended to cause a constitutional crisis which he said would snowball into the establishment of an interim government.
Mr Mohammed further urged Nigerians to be vigilant and be ready to cast their votes come the elections.
He assured them that the Federal Government would take pre-emptive measures to ensure their safety before, during and after the elections.
The minister said, “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.”
Mr Mohammed neither confirmed nor denied when asked if more security personnel would be deployed in the run up to the elections.
According to him, no country in the world reveals its intelligence gathering mechanism.
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