The Federal Government has dismissed former President Olusegun Obasanjoâ€™s allegation that the Buhari administration was planning to arrest him on trumped-up charges. It said â€œonly the guilty should be worried.â€
Obasanjo hadÂ on FridayÂ raised the alarm that the BuhariÂ administration was plotting to arrest him and keep him in detention indefinitely. The former President said he was informed by â€œImpeccable security sourcesâ€ that he had been placed on â€œtheir Watch List and that the security of his life cannot be guaranteed.â€
Reacting to the former Presidentâ€™s allegation in LagosÂ on Friday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said, â€œThis administration will never engage in a frame-up of innocent citizens. That is neither in the character of President Muhammadu Buhari nor in that of his administration.
â€œOnly the guilty should be worried. To paraphrase an African proverb, a man who has no wife cannot lose an in-law to the cold hands of death.â€
He said the administration was strongly committed to the tenets of democracy, including freedom of speech and the right to dissent.
â€œBut we understand that those who, in their time, were untethered to those principles would find it hard to believe,â€ Â he said.
Apparently referring to the declaration ofÂ June 12Â as democracy day and the conferment of national honours on the winner of the annulled June 12 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola; his running mate, Babagana Kingibe; and human rights and pro-democracy activist, late Gani Fawehinmi; the minister noted that it was curious that Obasanjoâ€™s allegation came a day after a well-received presidential proclamation reversing the injustices of the past.
â€Apparently, the impact of this proclamation was too much to bear by those who, through acts of omission or commission, helped to deepen the wounds inflicted by the blow of injustice that followed the annulment of an election that was widely acclaimed to be free, fair and credible, hence they felt the need for a red herring that will distract the nation.
â€Added to that is the frustration brought about by the fact that the contraption they have so much hyped as a freeway to power has failed to gain traction. Faced with this double tragedy, even the strongest of men may begin to succumb to a figment of their imagination. They may start crying wolf where there is none,â€ he said.