Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the Department of State Services (DSS) to disclose identities of those planning to instal an interim government.
On Wednesday, the secret police, in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunaya, said it had confirmed a plot by some key players to install an interim government and stop the president-elect, Bola Tinubu from being inaugurated on May 29.
The DSS said the plot includes embarking on violent protests nationwide to engineer the declaration of a state of emergency as well as securing frivolous court injunctions to stall the inauguration.
But Atiku, in a statement by his media aide, Timi Frank, alleged that the alarm of a plot to prevent Tinubu from being sworn in as president was a calculated move to arrest the PDP presidential candidate and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and clampdown on protesters before May 29.
“The DSS’ purported intelligence is fake. It is a plot to crackdown on protesters and arrest opposition political leaders before May 29,” he said.
“We have credible information that the DSS issued the statement in preparation for its planned disruption of ongoing protest by Nigerians who are demonstrating peacefully to demand justice and the restoration of their stolen mandate.
“Where was their intelligence when the Independent National Electoral Commission and Mahmood Yakubu were compromised to rig the 2023 general election?,” he asked.
He contended “Nigerians have been under siege by bandits, kidnappers and terrorists for a long time now, but the DSS never gave intelligence to foil kidnapping, heinous attacks, maiming and killing of innocent Nigerians.
“The only time you see the DSS coming up to talk about intelligence is whenever Nigerians are preparing to either protest against obnoxious government policies, rules, human rights abuses or carrying out lawful political activities.
“The DSS must stop this method of intimidating Nigerians, especially politicians, whenever they want to exercise their constitutional rights.
[“In fact, we dare the DSS or any other security outfit in the country to arrest Atiku and Obi before May 29 and see the wrath of Nigerians.”
He called on protesters not to be intimidated by “this DSS’ fake intelligence of a phantom ING plot.”
He enjoined the UK, US and EU to immediately call on the Nigerian government to allow Nigerians to exercise their democratic rights which are to ensure that the stolen mandate of the Nigerian people is restored through peaceful protests and the judicial process.
“We are aware that the DSS is planning to sponsor counter-protests across the country to clash with the peaceful protesters and use that as an excuse to clampdown on them.
“We dare the DSS to name those involved in the phantom plot if they genuinely have the ‘intelligence’ about a plot to instigate an ING so the world will know those who plan to stop the inauguration of the president-elect.
“But we know they are not being sincere. This is often their style whenever they want to engage in propaganda and do a hatchet job.
“On the contrary, let them name the purported politicians involved in the plot. Their real intent is to clampdown on protesters and arrest Atiku and Obi before May 29. Nothing more.
“We use this opportunity to call on the international community to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the DSS to order and stop them from meddling in the democratic process.
“The DSS is the one that is about to scuttle democracy in the country at this moment by plotting to arrest Atiku and Obi and other top opposition politicians,” he said.
He admonished the DSS not to allow the agency to be used to truncate democracy or as purveyors of fake news.
He claimed that the DSS had recently attempted albeit unsuccessfully to arrest and prosecute Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele for allegedly financing terrorism in the country.
“They later pulled back following the outcry that trailed the move. This is another of such hoaxes and it is one too many,” he said.