The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has cautioned the Presidency to stop heating up Nigeria’s political space with unfounded allegations of a coup plot against President Muhammadu Buhari by some unnamed past politicians and religious leaders.
Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Director, Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF in a terse statement said the Presidency was using the same tactics as terrorists by “scaring Nigerians with the rhetoric of subversion” instead of facing the diverse problems facing the country.
Excerpts from the statement reads ; “There is no point telling Nigerians that some unnamed citizens were plotting a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership in the country if the Presidency cannot not use the mechanism available to it to deal with the situation.
“The NEF challenges the Presidency to mention the plotters it claimed were recruiting some leaders of ethnic groups and the alleged ethnic groups.
“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 socio-cultural groups, you have to wonder; are you just using words to scare citizens?”