The Federal Government has dismissed former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s allegation of frame-up and impending arrest as groundless and the concoction of a mind worried by guilt.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the government response in Lagos today, saying the Buhari Administration will not be distracted by frivolous allegations from any quarter, especially those cleverly choreographed
to divert attention from a widely-acclaimed presidential proclamation
and to shore up support for a waning and egotistical cause.
The Minister said the administration is too busy trying to clear the mess of 16 years and build on its unprecedented achievements over the past three years than to waste its energy and time on framing up anyone or dwelling on issues
that are not grounded in fact.
He said while those who have skeletons in their wardrobes should be afraid, even of their own shadows, innocent persons need not worry about any investigation, whether real or imagined.
”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 untethered to those principles would find it hard to believe,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
The Minister said it was curious that the frame-up and witch-hunt allegations came a day after a major presidential proclamation reversing some past acts of injustice was made, to the relief and acclamation of a long-expectant nation.
”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,” he said.
Mohammed said the unprecedented achievements of the Buhari Administration are also enough to cause sleepless nights, with the attendant symptoms that include phantasm, for those who had better opportunities to make the country great but floundered on the altar of narcissism.
The Allegation by Obasanjo:
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday cried out over allegations that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to arrest him, saying his name is already on its security watch-list.
Obasanjo alleged that the government is planning to arrest him over his hard stance against the government.
In a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo said he got credible intelligence that his name has been placed on the security watch-list and there is a plot to assassinate him.
The former President however insisted that he would not be cowed into jettisoning his divine mandate to protect the rights of Nigerians.
According to the statement, part of the ground design was to seize the former President’s international passport and then throw him in detention to prevent him from further criticizing the President.
Obasanjo also said another plot being hatched against him was to cause the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open investigation into the activities of his administration using false witnesses and documents.
“This will be a re-enactment of the Abacha era in which Chief Obasanjo was one of the principal victims”, he added.
“Ordinarily, we would not have dignified these reports with a response but for the fact that many of these informants are not known for flippant and frivolous talks.
“This government has demonstrably exhibited apathy, and in some cases, encouraged by its conduct, daily loss of lives and property in many states of the country, the office cannot be indifferent.
“We are currently in a nation where the Number Three citizen is being harangued and the Number Four citizen is facing similar threat within the same Government they serve.
“There is a groundswell of our nationals that live in fear that they could be hounded, harassed, maimed or even killed as the battle for 2019 takes this worrisome dimension.