The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the presidency for warning Nigerians against demanding the sack of security chiefs over heightened insecurity in the country.
PDP’s position came in a Saturday statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The party was reacting to an earlier statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, which condemned an alleged plot to protest against security chiefs on Monday.
“A group of politicians and beneficiaries of the Boko Haram insurgency is right now paying for people to join their planned protest against our country’s service chiefs, and they will no doubt seek the media’s collaboration on this as usual.
“But there is news and there is promoted content – two very different things, one of which should never make the headlines as these recent fake protests have done,” Shehu said.
But in the counterstatement, the main opposition PDP said that the presidency was blackmailing Nigerians into silence.
The PDP said the presidency must “face its self-inflicted ordeal and address the consensus concern of Nigerians over its poor handling of security issues instead of seeking to blame the opposition and the media”.
“The PDP described threats and allegations by the Buhari Presidency, that the opposition is sponsoring a protest against the heads of military institutions, as derisory, self-indicting, diversionary and further shows the confusion that pervades the Buhari Presidency in the face of discontentment by Nigerians.
“The party alerted that the Buhari Presidency is now trying to divert attention by blackmailing the media and opposition because it can no longer face Nigerians, over its manifest failure to deal with those behind acts of insurgency, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and escalated violence under its watch.
“It is clear to all, including even the Buhari Presidency, that Nigerians across board, have been in protest against the Buhari-led APC administration and need nobody to mobilize them to publicly exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights any day to register their discontentment against a failed administration that has continued to live on propaganda, excuses and denials.
“Moreover, the PDP restates that its demand that the security high command should be rejigged to inject new blood to effectively tackle our security challenges; a position that have become a consensus opinion of all other patriotic individuals and groups, including the two chambers of the National Assembly, is well known within and outside our country.
“the opposition and threatening the media are therefore diversionary and apparently aimed to validate alleged plots by agents of governments to clamp down on innocent Nigerians, the media and members of the civil society to suppress and foist a siege mentality on Nigerians.
“Moreover, the PDP is aware that the accusation is part of the ploy by the Buhari Presidency to intimidate our party to abandon its demands for the Buhari administration to be alive to its responsibility to secure the nation or step aside for more competent hands to manage the affairs of our nation.
“Our party holds that instead of resorting to fabrications, blackmail and threats, a responsive and concerned administration should rather listen to the people, stop its blackmail, propaganda, denials and excuses; take urgent steps to rejig its security architecture and end the “escalated bloodletting under its watch.”