By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The federal government has again accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of plotting to create panic among the populace in furtherance of an alleged desperate plan to discredit Saturday’s presidential election, culminating in a constitutional crisis.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the allegation in a statement he issued in Abuja Tuesday, said the underground plot had reinforced the warnings given by government on two occasions this year, where it accused the PDP of scheming to scuttle the election and to reject the outcome if the tide turns against it.
The two alarms were made on January 21 and February 3, 2019 respectively.
The minister specifically singled out the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and his running mate Peter Obi and all the PDP state governors and other bigwigs as the masterminds of the latest plot.
He said in the days ahead, the individuals listed were planning to hold a world press conference, where they will contrive frivolous and unfounded allegations against the federal government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He alleged that the opposition intends to accuse both the Presidency and the APC of conniving to force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce presidential election results that are favourable to the government in power, on the basis of the false premise that the APC’s intelligence team is worried that the ruling party would lose the elections.
The PDP, he further alleged, also plans to use the said world press conference as a platform to disparage the Buhari administration and the APC by painting an unfavourable image of both to Nigerians and the international community and to put the government on the defensive in the run-up to the polls.
Mohammed also stated that the PDP spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan is already programmed to hold a two-hour live press conference on February 14, which incidentally is the last day of electioneering, where he will make innuendos, heap fallacies against the ruling government and cast aspersions on the ruling party officials.
”As electioneering campaign winds down, the PDP has realised that it cannot possibly win a free, fair and credible polls. It has thus resorted to engaging in red herring, hauling insults and abuses at federal government and ruling party officials and making outlandish allegations with a view to creating a sense of panic and crisis.
”The truth is that President Muhammadu Buhari, a man respected globally for his integrity, has continuously assured that the elections will be free, fair, credible and peaceful. He has warmly welcomed observers, both local and foreign, because he has nothing to hide, and because he is sure that the achievements of his administration will win him re-election.
”We are therefore calling on all Nigerians and the international community to disregard any attempt to scuttle or discredit the polls.
“We urge observers to keep an open mind. There is no cause for alarm, except in the warped imagination of the PDP, which has entered the panic mode and is already ruing the loss of another general election even before it has been held,” Mohammed said.