The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government of embarking on plots to scuttle the merger plans of opposition political parties.
The party alleged that PDP agents were employing measures to discredit and silence key opposition leaders involved in the ongoing plans to form a formidable platform to confront it in 2015.
In a statement issued Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the paranoia over the merger plans had driven the PDP to resort to imprudent and crude tactics aimed at tarnishing the image of key opposition leaders, especially ACN national leader, Bola Tinubu and his CPC counterpart, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), as well as their close political associates.
In the case, Tinubu, the party said has been a prime target of evil machinations because of his status as the leader of the country's second biggest party, his progressive credentials as well as his electoral value.
According to ACN, as far as the PDP-led government is concerned, getting Tinubu out of the way was the best way to ruin the merger plans.
"For the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration, and not minding its deceptive aloofness from it all, the race for 2015 has started in earnest and it is a do-or-die affair, and all means, foul and unfair, are on the table to cripple the opposition, by ensuring that nothing will be left of the integrity of its key leaders even if they are fortunate to make it to 2015.
"These opposition leaders are considered as constituting a clear and present danger to the electoral fortunes of the PDP in 2015, hence must be stopped at all costs and by whatever means," ACN said.
ACN said a huge war chest had been earmarked for the phased campaign, which has already started with a well-oiled media war, being waged especially online, denigrating these leaders.
"Some key government agencies have also been co-opted to dig up any dirt they hope can be plastered on the targeted leaders, while foreign intelligence agencies have been contacted in a desperate attempt to unearth any information that can be used to discredit and disgrace these major opposition figures thus distracting them from the merger plans.
"Indications are that highly-combustible sectional and religious issues that are being manipulated by desperate forces to divide and destroy, are not off the table as long as exploiting them can shut down the opposition. Or how else does one interpret a recent PDP statement that President Jonathan is being criticised by the opposition because he is from a minority ethnic group?
"And what about the continuous efforts, which have failed so far, to portray a key opposition leader as a sponsor of Boko Haram? His nomination as a 'facilitator' of some phantom peace talks was not an accident, but was carefully choreographed to portray him as a religious zealot and terrorist not fit to preside over the affairs of the nation," it said.
ACN said it would henceforth keep a tab on every single action of the PDP-led Federal Government aimed at frustrating the opposition.
It also called on all lovers of democracy and the rule of law to be on the alert in the days and weeks ahead to help forestall the evil plan.
"Those who either conveniently acquiesced or opted to dine with the devil when many progressives took to the trenches during the long, bitter and gruelling battle to enthrone the democracy we are now enjoying it, and apparently do not value it, and will stop at nothing to endanger it on the altar of selfish personal interests and political expediency.
"It is therefore incumbent on all Nigerians, especially those who believe that all hands must be on deck to nurture and strengthen our democracy, to be vigilant. After all, it is said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," the party said.