•Show the evidence of your claim –PDP
The Federal Government said it has credible evidence of the plan by the opposition to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and cause mayhem in the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the 12th Annual Lai Mohammed Ramadan Lecture in Oro, Kwara State yesterday, said government was also aware of similar alarms raised by the Nigeria Police Force, the military and the Directorate of State Services (DSS).
The statement, which was signed by Segun Adeyemi, maintained that the alarm raised by the Federal Government few days ago, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate were sabotaging President Buhari administration, was credible.
“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 live 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,” Alhaji Mohammed added.
He stated since the government and the security agencies raised the alarm, “pseudo and partisan analysts have teamed up with the spokesmen for the main opposition party and its presidential candidate to either exhibit their ignorance or to engage in red herring and name calling.”
He, however, assured that the government would not be distracted nor dissuaded, and called on Nigerians to continue to pray for peace and unity in the country.
Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, expressed worry over the challenges of food security in the country.
Bagudu called on government at all levels, and the communities to support and promote peaceful co-existence among all those involved in food production in the country.
“The food system itself is threatened across the length and breadth of the country because the participants in the food chain – the farmers; the fishermen; those in the livestock sector – all are challenged that they cannot find enough resources be it land, fresh water or grass in order to undertake and continue to support food production in the way they hitherto.
“So that brings a sense of urgency for us in the leadership, either at the local government level or state government or the federal government and community leaders to quickly address our minds on how we can support all the groups to cooperate with each other so that production can be increased,” he said.
Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar has challenged Mohammed to come up with evidence if has any, to back his claim that he (Atiku) and the PDP were planning to overthrow the government of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
This is even as the party urged the Minister to stop playing to the gallery and instead, face the challenge of speaking for a government that has “failed to deliver on the promises it made to the people four years ago.”
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan chided the minister for what he called an attempt to play to the gallery while dodging “issues pertaining to poor governance and maladministration, his party is famous for.”
According to the publicity scribe, “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.” Continuing, Ologbindiyan added that “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 realizing this objective.”
Also speaking, media adviser to the former vice president, Mr. Paul Ibe said Nigerians must learn not to take the Information Minister serious anymore.
In his words: “The man has run out of smart arguments and what he does these days is to make allegations he cannot substantiate.”
He called on Lai Mohammed to feel free to present his evidence before the relevant security agencies or keep his peace and allow Atiku to pursue his case at the election petition tribunal to a logical conclusion.