Opposition planning to derail February polls, seeking interim govt ― FG
Hold FG accountable if elections fail to hold in any part of Nigeria ― PDP
THE Federal Government on Monday raised the alarm that some opposition figures were colluding with certain fives to disrupt the 2019 elections.
The Minister, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja, said that the said forces were engaging criminal elements including Boko Haram to amuse mayhem during the general elections.
He said: “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 said however that the Federal Government would undertake to ensure that the general elections hold as she dulled in all constituencies of the country.
He further said : “On the threat by Boko Harm to attack polling units, I think every election year, Boko Haram will always threaten to attack people and make elections impossible. But this time around, it gets a bit more worrisome because, as I said in my press conference, some very unpatriotic elements are even ready to use Boko Haram for these attacks.
“But what I can assure you is that the Federal Government is up to task and I want to assure you that everything has been put in place to ensure that elections are held everywhere. I think that is the whole purpose of this press conference, to alert the nation that we are aware of these threats. We are in possession of very credible intelligence that this is being placed.”
He stated that though the source of the “credible intelligence” was reliable, the Federal government will not reveal the source.
“I’ve been asked that if we make such serious allegations, it should be backed by facts and figures, well I don’t know anywhere in the world where intelligence sources will reveal its sources. But it is serious enough if the government comes out and says that it has credible intelligence. That is the difference between government and opposition. We have an obligation to protect lives and properties and to ensure that there is stability in the country. We made these revelations, which you call allegations, but which we call credible intelligence because we know they are real.”
According to him, opposition was intimidated by the warm and massive reception accorded to the President at differ campaign rallies across the country adding that the bid to engage reactionary forces was aimed at instigating the installation of an interim national government.
He insisted that the government was not crying wolf where there was none, adding that government was in possession of “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.”
He listed the states to be affected by the hoodlums as including Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara.
The Minister stated that a Benue-based armed criminal group, led by Terwase AKWAZA, also known as Gana, had been commissioned to strike soft targets in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States.
According to him, the same set of opposition leaders have in KANO, mobilised a group of notorious miscreants to provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections.
Lai Mohammed further said: “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 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.”
He appealed to all Nigerians to be vigilant in the days ahead, adding that the Media should also sensitise the public to forestall the plans.
“We also appeal to the media to help in sensitising 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.
“Finally, 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 destabilise the country if they cannot achieve their inordinate ambition,” he said.