The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has accused the Presidency of scaring Nigerians with the rhetoric of subversion.
Reacting to the alarm raised over the alleged attempt to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari, the Director, Publicity and Advocacy of the Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, asked the current administration to deal with the problems facing the country.
The NEF, on Tuesday, said that there was no point telling Nigerians that some unnamed citizens were plotting a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership in the country if the Presidency could not use the mechanism available to it to deal with the situation.
He challenged the Presidency to mention the plotters it claimed were recruiting some leaders of ethnic groups and the alleged ethnic groups.
Baba-Ahmed said: “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?”
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has resorted to blackmail in the face of failure.
The party was responding to the allegation by the presidency that some Nigerians were plotting a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.
In a statement by the party spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said rather than taking charge and securing the 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 (APC) 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 government.
“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.
“Even in 2019, Nigerians will be quick to remember how the APC imported bandits, vandals and thugs from neighboring countries, as political mercenaries, to unleash violence, disrupt our voting processes and muscle itself to power.
“The PDP therefore counsels the Buhari Presidency and the APC to look inwards as all fingers toward any possible plots to upturn our democracy point to them.
“Our party believes that the statement by the Buhari Presidency is an attempt by the APC to heighten political tension in our country ahead of the 2023 election, having realized that they cannot face the people at the polls,” the statement read.
The PDP, however, advised the APC to know that such “blackmail against Nigerians” cannot help their cause.
“For us in the PDP, our party will remain undeterred, alongside other patriotic Nigerians, in our commitment towards the sustenance and stability of our democracy as well as the unity and corporate existence of our country, Nigeria,.” he said.