Politics

Northern Elders, Afenifere, Ohanaeze, ACF, Middle Belt, PDP berates Presidency over alleged coup plot against Buhari’s government

President Muhammadu Buhari addresses Nigerians on COVID-19

The Presidency has raised an alarm that some elements were recruiting ethnic groups and politicians with the aim of convening conferences where a vote of no confidence would be passed in President Muhammadu Buhari.

This was contained in a statement by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity.

The statement titled ‘Our response to DSS alert, by Presidency,” was a response to the Department of State Services (DSS) alert that some people were planning to undermine the government.

The Presidency claimed that some disgruntled religious and past political leaders were behind the plans.

“The Department of State Services on Sunday alerted on sinister moves by misguided elements to wreak havoc on the government, sovereignty and corporate existence of the country.

“Championed by some disgruntled religious and past political leaders, the intention is to eventually throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.

“Further unimpeachable evidence shows that these disruptive elements are now recruiting the leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians round the country, with the intention of convening some sort of conference, where a vote of no confidence would be passed in the President, thus throwing the land into further turmoil.

“The caterwauling, in recent times, by these elements, is to prepare the grounds adequately for their ignoble intentions, which are designed to cause further grief for the country.

“The agent provocateurs hope to achieve through artifice and sleight of hands, what they failed to do through the ballot box in the 2019 elections.”

Reacting to the presidency, the Arewa Consultative Forum, the Afenifere, PANDEF, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the Middle Belt Forum berated the presidency.

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has accused the Presidency of scaring Nigerians with the rhetoric of subversion.

The Director, Publicity and Advocacy of the Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, asked the current administration to deal with the problems facing the country.

“Subversion is a crime, sedition is a crime and treason is a crime. Why is the Presidency or DSS telling us that there are people who are involved in these activities? What do they want the public to do with the information? They are failing twice; first of all, they are failing to eliminate the ground which gives these kinds of elements if they do exist, the reason to do what they are doing and then they are failing in enforcing the law.

“I can say we talk with other groups, we discuss national issues. That is our right; there is nothing illegal in that and I am sure other groups do the same thing. But when you throw this kind of blanket accusations that somebody that you haven’t told us, someone, that you are in opposition today with, you haven’t dealt with is engaging and recruiting sociocultural groups, you have to wonder are you just using words to scare citizens?”

The Afenifere in its reaction stated that the Yoruba nation and others in the south were only after the peaceful restructuring of Nigeria.

“Who is interested in passing a vote of no confidence in Buhari? Who has confidence in Buhari before let alone pass any vote of no confidence in him,” Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader, said.

The ACF in a statement by Emmanuel Yawe, its National Publicity Secretary, said that the presidency’s penchant for always viewing critics of Buhari with “dark motives” was wrong.

“The Presidency must be broad-minded enough to accommodate all shades of opinions.

“The criticism is done in good faith and if acted upon will help improve the situation in the country. It is wrong to see all critics as disgruntled, religious and past political leaders with dark motives. Some of them mean well for the government and the country.”

PANDEF also stated that the Presidency was chasing shadows rather than looking for the myriad of problems facing the country.

“It is rather shocking that the Presidency would under the prevailing situation of disastrous insecurity tag religious leaders and past political leaders as ‘disgruntled.’ That is the least expected,” the National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, said.

“PANDEF cautions that the Presidency should stop chasing shadows. Citizens are anxious and troubled, many are becoming hopeless, with even the security agencies seemingly helpless and vulnerable.”

Also, the Northern Elders Council, Tanko Yakasai, accused the Presidency of overheating the polity.

“It is not enough to embark on scaremongering by issuing statements on such a serious issue. We have yet to recover from the violent overthrow of the Tafawa Balewa -led first Republic by young military officers. I do not support any change of government other than that which comes through the ballot box,” Yakasai said.

The PDP in its reaction titled ‘You’re Haunted By Your Own Shadows, PDP tells Buhari Presidency, APC…Asks Buhari to look inwards,’ issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said that the Buhari government was desperate to blackmail Nigerians in the face of its failures.

“Rather than live up to the responsibilities of office by taking charge and securing our nation, the Presidency is busy engaging in frivolous allegations against Nigerians.

“It is however imperative to state that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress are being haunted by their own shadows as Nigerians know the persons as well as the political party with the history and penchant to scuttle democratically elected governments.

“Perhaps, the Presidency has forgotten that in 1983, Brigadier Muhammadu Buhari, as he was then known, led a military coup to truncate a democratically elected government thereby causing our nation a huge drawback on democratic governance.

“Also, in 2015, the APC, which was hurriedly formulated, made itself available as a vehicle of brigandage to disrupt our political process by beguiling Nigerians and taking power through violence, propaganda and falsehood.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo in a statement by Cheif Alex Ogbonnia, said; “Ohanaeze is not interested in anything coup. Ohanaeze is interested that the President should listen to us and address the nation. President should reorder his steps. He should root his governance in justice because everything has become injustice especially to the Igbo.”

The Middle Belt also reminded President Buhari that Nigeria was operating a democratic government.

“We view the statement as an expression of guilt by the Presidency for the deteriorating situation of things in the country including insecurity and its inability to stop it,” the Middle Belt said.

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