The Presidency has reacted to the allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo about his possible arrest plot, saying the government “is too busy trying to fix the nation’s mess created by past administrations rather than think of framing anyone.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said in a statement on Friday that the allegations by the former President were frivolous and aimed at distracting the government.
“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,” the statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Minister, Segun Adeyemi, said.
The former president, an ally-turned critic of President Buhari, in a statement on Friday, alleged that “security operatives are daily perfecting how to curtail his personal liberties and hang a crime on him”’.
He had called on the Federal Government to uphold the principles of democracy and to stop trying to suppress opposing voices.
But the minister does not believe there is a need for that as the government was already operating democratically.
“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,” Muhammed said.
Furthermore, the minister suggested that the timing of the allegations and some others “were cleverly choreographed to divert attention from a widely-acclaimed presidential proclamation and to shore up support for an egotistical cause”.
According to him, it is 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 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.”
By Our Correspondent