A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has described the federal government's accusation that he is a saboteur as false. He described the information minister, Lai Mohammed, as a 'liar.'
Mr Abubakar was reacting to an earlier statement by Mr Mohammed that the former vice president and his party, PDP, were plotting to sabotage the Buhari administration.
"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," Mr Mohammed said.
In his response, Mr Abubakar said: "It is not surprising that such a despicable lie is emanating from Mr. Lai Mohammed, President Buhari's aptly named Minister of Information."
Mr Abubakar also described Mr Buhari as a dictator. He accused the president of plotting to implicate the opposition in phantom plots.
"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?" Mr Abubakar said in a statement by his spokesperson, Paul Ibe.
Read Mr Abubakar's full response below.
My attention has been drawn to accusations by the Muhammadu Buhari led administration against the candidate of the Presidential Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 elections and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, alleging that he has made treasonable statements.
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?
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."
Atiku Abubakar is a man of peace and a thoroughbred democrat. 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.
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?
If anybody is "beating the drums of war", it is precisely those who have issued statements threatening Nigerians and foreigners alike with "body bags".
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.
Mr. Lai Mohammed is advised to face the cesspool of corruption that has been exposed in his ministry by the investigative website, Premium Times, which revealed that Mr. Mohammed's fingers may be stickier than sticky glue.