2019 election: Opposition politicians behind bandits, Boko Haram to upset elections, says Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed asserts that credible intelligence has it that opposition politicians have involved bandits and Boko Haram insurgents ahead of the 2019 general election.

The minister made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

He said “As you are aware, Nigeria goes to the polls just 27 days from now. However, the Federal Government is in possession of credible intelligence to the effect that widespread violence being orchestrated by the opposition is threatening the 2019 general election. You have definitely seen the massive and warm reception that President Muhammadu Buhari has been receiving across the country, compared to the thinning crowds that have been attending the opposition rallies.

“The desperate opposition is orchestrating widespread violence with a view to truncating the elections, thus triggering a constitutional crisis that could snowball into the establishment of an interim government.”

He further stated the specifics about the allegations.

He said “We have credible intelligence that bandits and Boko Haram insurgents have been mobilised to engage in massive attacks and other acts of violence in several states across the country.

“The states include: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara. The Benue-based armed criminal group, led by Terwase Akwaza, also known as Gana, has been commissioned to strike soft targets in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States.

“In Kano State, a group of notorious miscreants have been mobilised by some prominent opposition leaders to provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections. Some armed mercenaries from Niger Republic have been contracted to attack top government functionaries, including state governors, across the North-West between now and the elections.”

Lai Mohammed however stated that the Nigerian government would not be static and allow this happen as they are implementing measures to tackle the situation.

Also, he urged Nigerians to “shine their eyes” in the coming days and that “the punch line of our long running campaign on security – if you see something, say something – remains important, perhaps even more, at this time”.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan responding to Lai allegation said the minister’s claims were alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and asks Nigerians to hold them responsible for any act of violence during the elections.

He said, “We have noted the detailing of awareness of the said plots by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, which exposes manifest complicity at very high level.

“In the light of this and the already displayed desperation by the APC ahead of the general elections, the PDP calls on Nigerians to hold President (Muhammadu Buhari) directly responsible for any escalation of violence in our nation.”

The PDP spokesman further said, “It is imperative to state that the PDP finds the claims of Alhaji Lai Mohammed, irresponsible and ludicrous.

“It is just a measure for building the ground for framing up and arrest of leading members of the opposition as he has just confirmed our concerns.”

Ologbodiyan alleged that it was the APC that has embarked on a strategy to foment crisis in the nation and blame the opposition, having come to the reality of its purported loss at the polls.

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