On Friday, the Presidency alleged that some individuals have perfected plans to launch smear campaigns against President Muhammadu Buhari’s person and administration.
In a statement signed by the President’s special advisor on media and advertisement, Femi Adesina told the presidency that certain media outlets were paid off to support the smear campaign.
He added that by depicting the president as someone that encourages race and nepotism, the aim is to create conflict in Nigeria.
The statement, quoting security sources said: “Impeccable security findings indicate that those behind the plot have procured online blogs and newspapers, which are to launch coordinated publications, alleging subjugation and suppression of a particular religion and ethnic groups.
“A specific medium has so far contacted some opinion leaders, especially those very critical of President Buhari.
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.
“Again, 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. This allegation is by no means supported with reasonable facts and figures.
Just on Thursday, President Buhari, while meeting with the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), led by Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, restated his even-handedness on the issues of ethnicity and religion. Said the President:
“’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.’”
“Those who are bent on stoking ethnic and religious unrest in the country remain deaf to reason, and impervious to reality. They are hell-bent on distorting reality, and Nigerians are urged to be wary of them. It is all about quest for power, and filthy lucre.”