The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded apology from the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for “misleading” the nation and heating up the polity with unfounded security breach allegations against the PDP and its presidential candidate in the February 23 elections, Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP’s reaction followed the assurances on Monday by the Minister, that the country was safe for world leaders to attend the May 29 presidential inauguration.
Alhaji Mohammed had earlier accused the PDP and its presidential candidate of plotting to set the nation on crisis with the view to disrupting the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A statement Wednesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the Minister’s doublespeak has further exposed the fact that he, acting for the Federal Government, only conjured claims to create the impression that the PDP and Atiku Abubakar had set security breaches against the President’s inauguration.
Describing Mohammed’s allegations against the main opposition party as phantoms, the PDP accused the Minister of desperation to secure acceptance for the Buhari administration from Nigerians.
The PDP stated that for the Minister to turn around to assure that the country was safe after raising the initial false alarm, showed that his claims were not based on any concrete evidence other than having “no reason to doubt” claims by other individuals.
The statement said, “Moreover, the Minister’s claims that he relied on certain alarms fell flat as no agency in the country had ever accused the PDP, as a political party, or our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, of ‘doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari Administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable’ as claimed by Lai Mohammed.
“It is now clear that the whole essence of the misleading allegation was to heat up the system, attempt to cow democratic voices, divert public discourse from the rigging of the presidential election and scare the PDP and our presidential candidate from pursuing our stolen presidential mandate at the court.
“Such antics have failed as Nigerians have seen through them and are resolute, behind Atiku Abubakar, in the determination to retrieve his mandate in the court, and no form of blackmail and intimidation will detract from that resolve.
“By his fabricated claims, the Information Minister only succeeded in further demarketing our dear nation in the international arena, causing more damage to investors confidence in our system and exposing this administration as purveyor of fake news.
“The PDP therefore invites Alhaji Lai Mohammed to apologise to the nation and desist from such acts of incitement”.
Author: Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja