17 May 2019

Nigeria: Allegation of Overthrow, a Despicable Lie, Atiku Insists

Photo: Vanguard
Abubakar Atiku, 2019 presidential candidate for PDP and President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC

Abuja — The People's Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 23, 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has insisted that claim by the Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, regarding plot to overthrow government, was absolutely false.

Media Adviser to the former Vice President, Paul Ibe, stated this yesterday, saying: "Atiku Abubakar is a man of peace and a thoroughbred democrat."

He noted 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.

He said: "Truly, if the farmer does not raise the alarm on time, the thief will accuse him of being a thief."

Meanwhile, a pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has cautioned the minister and military authorities to stop peddling politically-motivated rumours of a planned take-over of government.

HURIWA said it is fatally erroneous for politicians or the military to interpret litigation by political opposition or criticisms as attempt to unseat the government.

The pro-democracy group, therefore, asked government and heads of the security forces to work out effective strategies of quality intelligence gathering so as to combat the ongoing ever-expanding insecurity, banditry and kidnappings.

The rights group, in a statement signed yesterday in Abuja by the National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said it is disingenuous and discreditable that politicians under the cover of cabinet level offices have penetrated and corrupted the hierarchies of the military to begin to dish out half-baked tales by moonlight accusing political opposition of sponsoring violent crimes.

"The Federal Government's allegation that the PDP and its presidential candidate were planning overthrow Buhari's administration through a military coup is cheap blackmail which borders on executive rascality and reckless talk.

"No sane person will accept military dictatorship. This government must stop peddling rumours of coup plots in their desperation to rope in political adversaries of the current administration."

It, however, tasked government to provide concrete and verifiable evidence about those circulating materials deemed injurious to national security and allow appropriate legal institutions to carry out their functions without political interference rather than playing to the gallery.

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