The Federal Government says it is in possession of credible intelligence confirming that opposition politicians are orchestrating widespread violence to truncate the forthcoming general elections.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the allegation at a world press conference in Abuja on Monday.
‘‘As you are aware, Nigeria goes to the polls just 27 days from now.
‘‘However, the Federal Government is in possession of credible intelligence to the effect that widespread violence being orchestrated by the opposition is threatening the 2019 general elections,’’ he said.
On the reasons for the plot, the minister said the opposition politicians, having realised that their fortunes had dwindled ahead of the polls, were orchestrating widespread violence with a view to truncating the elections.
‘‘You have definitely seen the massive and warm reception that President Muhammadu Buhari has been receiving across the country, compared to the thinning crowds that have been attending the opposition rallies.
‘‘The desperate opposition is orchestrating widespread violence with a view to truncating the elections, thus triggering a constitutional crisis that could snowball into the establishment of an interim government,’’ he said.
Mohammed buttressed the Federal Government’s claims and allegation against the opposition politicians to justify that the government was not just crying wolf.
He said: ‘‘We have credible intelligence that bandits and Boko Haram insurgents have been mobilised to engage in massive attacks and other acts of violence in several states across the country.
‘‘The states include: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara.
‘‘The Benue-based armed criminal group, led by Terwase AKWAZA, also known as Gana, has been commissioned to strike soft targets in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States.
‘‘In Kano State, a group of notorious miscreants have been mobilised by some prominent opposition leaders to provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections.’’
He added that there was also an international dimension to the evil plan.
‘‘Some armed mercenaries from Niger Republic have been contracted to attack top government functionaries, including state governors, across the North-West between now and the elections,’’ he said.
The minister said the Federal Government is taking every possible measure to counter the evil plans by unpatriotic anarchists and would ensure the smooth conduct of the forthcoming general elections.
He assured of the President Buhari-led Administration’s commitment to credible, free, fair and peaceful elections was unshaken.
Mohammed appealed to all Nigerians to be vigilant in the days ahead.
He also appealed to the media to help in sensitising members of the public to the observed threats, capable of disrupting the elections.
‘‘The punchline of our long running campaign on security – if you see something, say something – remains relevant, perhaps even more, at this time,’’ he said.
He said all the relevant agencies under his ministry would work together to ensure that Nigerians are alerted to the dangers posed to the forthcoming elections by the unpatriotic characters planning to destabilise the country in order to realise their inordinate ambitions.