Presidency Alleges Plot to Trigger Ethnic, Religious Unrest
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigerians have been warned to be watchful of some persons trying to stoke ethnic and religious unrest in the country in order to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement on Friday, said these persons are plotting to use the media to turn the citizens against the President.
According to him, some online newspapers and blogs have been contracted for this job and in the coming days, they would begin to unleash “editorials and purported special investigative stories” aimed to portray Mr Buhari as “pandering to ethnic and other primordial tendencies, contrary to his pledge to belong to all Nigerians.”
The presidency said these “coordinated publications” are intended to “further exacerbate tension in the land,” noting that a specific medium has so far contacted some opinion leaders, especially those very critical of President Buhari to execute this purported plan.
Mr Adesina said the “hatchet job” will allege that the President has continued to place members of his ethnic nationality in sensitive positions, so as to confer undue advantage on them.
“Part of the planned publication is to make unwary readers believe that the President has continually used the powers of his office to shield and protect an ethnic group against crimes of murder, kidnappings, rape and banditry in the southern, middle belt and some northern states.
“The publication will also refer Nigerians to a 58-page document, which chronicles purported atrocities of the ethnic group in the South since 2017, all of which it claims the Presidency has turned blind eyes to,” the statement, which said it raised this alarm based on the impeccable security findings, disclosed.
But the presidency said Mr Buhari has always been for every Nigerians, irrespective of their ethnic or religious inclination.
According to Mr Adesina, on Thursday, the President had a meeting with the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), led by Sultan of Sokoto, Mr Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and reaffirmed his even-handedness on the issues of ethnicity and religion.
“The federal government under my leadership does not, and will not, allow religious prejudice or partisanship to influence any of its decisions and policies. It is my solemn decision to be fair and just to all segments of society,” the statement quoted Mr Buhari as saying at the meeting.