By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief & Emmanuel Elebeke
The federal government has alleged plans by opposition politicians to frustrate the forthcoming elections with a view to establishing an interim government.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, told journalists, in Abuja, this afternoon, that bandits and Boko Haram elements have been armed to undertake massive attacks in 10 states of Northern Nigeria.
He claimed that the opposition resorted to arming merchants of death because of their perceived inability to match President Muhammadu Buhari’s popularity and expected victory at the forthcoming polls.
READ ALSO: 2019, Buhari and sustaining good governance
The minister said, “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 opposition rallies. 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.”
Massive attacks planned in 10 states
According to Alh. Lai Mohammed, “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.
Nigerien mercenaries contracted to attack govs, others
“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.”
FG’s plans to counter plot
Alh. Mohammed said that the federal government had taken steps to ensure peaceful elections, in spite of the threats.
“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,” he said.
Nigerians to be vigilant
He urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and refuse to yield to the antics of those he described as enemies of the nation.
His words, “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.”