The Federal Government said on Saturday it had ‘credible evidence’ to back up its outcry that the opposition was planning to “sabotage President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration, generally overheat the polity and make the country ungovernable.”
Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said in his hometown Oro, Kwara State that no government having that kind of evidence would keep quiet.
He spoke at the 12th edition of his Annual Ramadan Lecture in the town. However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fired back. It asked the government to address the failing security and other issues confronting the country.
Mohammed told the audience which included Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, Communication Minister Adebayo Shittu, political stalwarts, traditional rulers, clergy men, Muslims and Christians that: “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 life 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.”
The minister noted that similar alarms had been raised by the police, the military and the DSS.
He said the government would 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 and dead enders 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 Ramadan lecture was delivered by the Chief Imam of Olorunsogo Central Mosque, Ilorin, Imam Soliu Orire.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its reaction told the Information Minister to stop dodging issues and address the monumental failures of the government he speaks for.
The main opposition party was reacting to allegations of subversive activities which the Minister levelled against the PDP and its presidential candidate in the February 23 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubabar.
Spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan challenged Mohammed to come up with evidence of subversion against the PDP and its candidate, if he has any, instead of playing to the gallery.
Ologbondiyan expressed irritation at the Minister’s allegation of attempts by the opposition to overthrow the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.
The PDP spokesman said the Minister is overwhelmed with the challenge of speaking for a government that has failed to deliver on the promises it made to Nigerians four years ago.
Ologbondiyan further accused the Minister of avoiding issues pertaining to poor governance and maladministration, which he said, the APC and the Buhari administration are notorious for.
He added, “Nigerians are tired of a man who keeps running away from the real issues at hand. If Lai has evidence to substantiate what he has been saying, he knows what to do”
“The federal government has no answers to the numerous challenges facing the nation. Nigerians are daily dying of hardship and all their spokesman can say today is to look for people and party to scapegoat for their failure.
“The PDP is determined to retrieve its stolen mandate at the tribunal and no amount of lies can distract us from realising this objective.”