By Ayo Kehinde
The Federal Government has accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Presidential candidate in the just concluded 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abukbakar of what it called unpatriotic and desperate opposition politics that could derail the country’s democracy.
At a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister for Infromation and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated that “the kind of desperate tactics being deployed by the duo of the PDP and its flag-bearer, especially since President Muhammadu Buhari overwhelmingly defeated Atiku to win
He said: “Either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and its presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari Administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable, especially through their public utterances and their poorly-thought-out press releases before and after the 2019 general elections. Unless they quickly retrace their steps, they may, sooner than later, overreach themselves.
In a spirited response contained in a statement, entitled, Only the Guilty Are Afraid, A Response To Lai Mohammed, Abubakar said, he was shocked to read allegations that he had made treasonable statements:
He said in a statement by Mr Paul Ibe, his Media Adviser; “It is not surprising that such a despicable lie is emanating from Mr. Lai Mohammed, President Buhari’s aptly named Minister of Information.
“Lai Mohammed is so associated with lies that even Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said, on Monday, May 13, 2019, as follows:
“People like Lai Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Adamu Adamu they are usually very well behaved during the Ramadan. But I’m not even sure that that is true anymore.”
“When we have a situation where even those who employed him know that Lai Mohammed is a liar, who will even lie during the holy month of Ramadan, then why should Nigerians be surprised at this latest lie?
He said Mr Lai Mohammed is only being clever by half when he says “It beggars belief that a candidate who prides himself as a democrat can so allow desperation to becloud his sense of propriety to such an extent that he will be associating with anti-democratic forces or making inflammatory statements.”
According to Mohammed, “in recent times, the PDP has taken its desperation to a new low by attacking the judiciary, an action many see as indicating a reversal of the party’s hitherto self-assured stance that it has a solid case against the election of the President. And either by coincidence or orchestration, a faceless group emerges from nowhere calling for an overthrow of a democratically-elected government, a totally egregious act of treason.
“It beggars belief that a candidate who prides himself as a democrat can so allow desperation to becloud his sense of propriety to such a extent that he will be associating with anti-democratic forces or making inflammatory statements. For acclaimed democrats, there are acceptable channels of seeking redress after an election defeat. Even President Buhari himself went to court three times to challengeelection results.
“What is not acceptable is to either resort to self help after an election defeat, or to embark on a journey of subterfuge and sabotage while also mounting a legal challenge or pretending to do so. Worst still, painting the judiciary bad for whatever reason is anti-democratic and unconscionable,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
“We want to urge the main opposition party to stop beating the drums of war concentrate on the legal challenge by its candidate against the election of President Buhari if indeed they have any faith in the country’s judiciary, and desist from unnecessarily overheating the polity.
Stating that Atiku Abubakar is a man of peace and a thoroughbred democrat, Ibe in his statement added that, “ It is preposterous that those who threatened to ‘soak the dog and the baboon in blood’ are now audacious enough to point the finger at lifelong democrats. Truly, if the farmer does not raise the alarm on time, the thief will accuse him of being a thief.
He said: “How can a man who wined and dined with Nigeria’s most brutal dictator, how can a man who overthrew a democratically elected President and held a grudge against him even in death (as evidenced by the empty condolence register he left in Sokoto, last year) accuse a man who has never been as much as associated with such tendencies, of being an anti-democrat?
“We want to know why the desperation on the part of the Muhammadu Buhari government to rope in the Peoples Democratic Party and its Presidential candidate in phantom plots? Obviously, President Buhari wants to replay the Phantom plot saga of his now deceased mentor, who threw former President Olusegun Obasanjo in jail after falsely accusing him of treason in order to perpetuate himself in power.
“Could it be that they are now aware that the electoral fraud they perpetrated during the last Presidential election is about to be exposed beyond a shadow of a doubt?
“It is precisely those who have issued statements threatening Nigerians and foreigners alike, with “body bags” that are “beating the drums of war”
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me inform the minister of disinformation that Atiku Abubakar resisted the Abacha dictatorship, of which President Muhammadu Buhari was a prominent member, and it is his resistance and the sacrifice of his co-travellers, like chief MKO Abiola and Alex Ekwueme, amongst others, that gave rise to the democracy that the current government is now trampling on.”