Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday raised the alarm over alleged plan by some people to cause crisis in parts of the country and accuse him of being responsible for the skirmishes.
He said the plan, being spearheaded by “unscrupulous and anti-democratic elements,” for coming weeks, was aimed at smearing his personality.
Atiku made the allegation in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja by his media adviser, Mr Paul Ibe.
He said the strategy was for some people to be apprehended for causing skirmishes and be made to mention Atiku and some members of PDP as their sponsors.
The former Vice President also called for the arrest of Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, for his unsubstantiated allegation against him.
The statement read, “We wish to blow the whistle as an early warning alert of the grandiose scheme being put together by some unscrupulous elements aimed at jeopardising the reputation of Abubakar in the coming days and weeks.
“By the merit of what is beginning to unfold, there are plans to create some upset across the country whereby alleged perpetrators of such crimes will engage in phantom dropping of name of Abubakar and some senior personalities in Peoples Democratic Party.
“Already, we are abreast of some other plans to plant fictitious stories in some mushroom media outlets aimed at discrediting Atiku and his political party, PDP.
“It therefore becomes preponderant that we alert the public to this demonic plan and to say that it will be imprudent to compromise the peace and security of Nigerians in order to score a cheap political goal.
“Towards this end, and for the umpteenth time, we call on Federal Government to be awake to its responsibilities of providing security and ensuring peace, and to desist from actions and utterances capable of exposing our fault lines.
“It is very unsettling that senior administration officials, especially those who are the mouthpiece of government will make reckless but calculated comments to tarnish the image of Abubakar, and government will sit idly on it.
“With the conclusion reached by relevant security outfits that there is no proof to back the claim by Lai Mohammed that the opposition was planning to upstage the government, we demand that the information minister should be arrested for a breach of security and an apology tendered to Abubakar and PDP.”
In its reaction, the Federal Government said the former vice President should have nothing to fear.
It said only the guilty were always afraid.
Minister of Information and Culture, Mohamed, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the matter, said he would not say more than that.
“On Atiku’s statement, I guess the former Vice President must have been reading, in recent times, James Hadley Chase’s 1957 thriller entitled. ‘The Guilty are Afraid.’ That’s all I have to say.”