Barely 12 hours that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo cried out that his life was in danger and that the presidency of Major General Muhammadu Buhari wanted to imprison him following his criticisms of the government, the Federal Government has waved the outcry with the back of their hand decribing Obasanjo’s claim as coming from a man drowning in his own guilt.
However, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of Nigeria (1999-2007), was not pleased with Obasanjo’s alarm. Atiku who served as Obasanjo’s vice and a 2019 presidential hopeful on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said that Obasanjo should not be toyed with as he represents the face of democracy in the country and that Buhari should have a rethink on how the security operatives may be looking at Obasanjo.
But reacting in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that no one can distract the government of Buhari with bloated claims. According to Lai, “This 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. Only 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.
”The administration is also strongly committed to the tenets of democracy, including freedom of speech and the right to dissent. But we understand that those who, in their time, were un-tethered to those principles would find it hard to believe.”
He added, ”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.
”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.”
Whereas the Federal Government was invariably pulling themselves from ever planning to witch-hunt Obasanjo, Atiku said that he received with serious concern the purported alert raised by Obasanjo of an alleged plot by the government to arrest him on trumped up charges.
Atiku said, “I am disturbed by this turn of events in our dear country considering the huge price that was paid for us to have democracy.
“I wish to advice that government and its agents should retrace their steps to avoid aggravating the already over heated polity.
“The alert by President Obasanjo is coming against the backdrop of earlier alerts by some leaders, especially those of the opposition of deliberate and orchestrated attempt to intimidate and frame them up.
“I wish to state without equivocation that President Obasanjo is a historical figure in Nigeria’s democracy and that the primary purpose of government is to provide security of lives and property of all citizens and residents irrespective of their status, political affiliation, religious inclination and ethnic leanings.
“Our nation has lost so much precious lives and property that we can no longer afford to travel that road again.
“I wish to appeal to President Buhari to call the security agencies to order in order to douse the tension in the land.”
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