- We’ve Credible Evidence – Lai
- Present Your Proofs – PDP
Barely a week after the Federal Government accused the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), of plotting to cause problem in the country, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday insisted that there was credible evidence to back the claim.
Alhaji Lai said there was evidence to show that ‘‘the opposition and their cohorts were working to subvert the government and cause mayhem in the country”.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Segun Adeyemi, the minister made the remarks at the 12th annual Lai Mohammed Ramadan lecture in Oro, Kwara State.
Alhaji Lai maintained that the alarm the government raised a few days ago, that the PDP and its presidential candidate were doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari administration, was credible.
“As you are aware, a few days ago we raised the alarm that either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and its presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable. Of course you are aware of similar alarms that have been raised by the police, the military and the DSS.
“Our interventions are based on credible evidence and no government with the kind of evidence that we have of plans to subvert the power of the state, attack the nation’s economic live wire and generally unleash mayhem on the polity, will keep quiet. The security agencies are all alert to their responsibilities and will not sit by and allow anyone to reverse the gains of our democracy under any guise,’’ he said.
Alhaji Lai said since the government and the security agencies raised the alarm, pseudo and partisan analysts have teamed up with the spokesmen for the main opposition party and its presidential candidate to “engage in red herring and name calling”.
But he assured that the government would neither be distracted nor dissuaded.
But the PDP had swiftly denied the allegation, saying they were baseless and aimed at preventing its presidential candidate in the February election, Atiku Abubakar, from ‘‘reclaiming his mandate in court’’.
The PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenged the Federal Government to produce cogent evidence to back its claims.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Ibe, in a telephone chat with Daily Trust on Sunday yesterday, Atiku said the claim by the Minister of Information and Culture was baseless, unfounded and unsubstantiated, saying it was a ploy to blackmail the party and its presidential candidate.
He said, “The man (minister) has run out of smart arguments and what he does these days is to make allegations he cannot substantiate.
“Lai Mohammed should feel free to present his evidence before the relevant security agencies or keep his peace and allow Atiku to pursue his case at the election petition tribunal to a logical conclusion.”
Similarly, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a telephone chat with our reporter asked the Federal Government to present its evidence against the PDP and Atiku if it has any.
The PDP said the minister was playing to the gallery instead of admitting the failures of the APC-led government in tackling the socio-economic, security and other challenges bedevilling the nation.
“Nigerians are tired of a man who keeps running away from the real issues at hand. If Lai has evidence to substantiate what he has been saying, he knows what to do.
“The PDP is determined to retrieve its stolen mandate at the tribunal and no amount of lies can distract us from realising this objective,” the PDP said.
The minister further stated that as Muslim faithful observe the holy month of Ramadan with fasting, prayers, self-purification, renewed focus on religion and sense of community, it is appropriate to call on all Nigerians to pray for “our dear country, peace and unity, especially as the May 29th inauguration of the president approaches.”
In his remarks, the governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who was the special guest of honour at the occasion, spoke on the challenges of food security in the country and urged governments at all levels and the communities to support and promote peaceful co-existence among all those involved in food production in the country.