The Presidency has alerted the nation of an alleged orchestrated smear campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari, using some online newspapers and blogs.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, who raised the alert in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the campaign was designed to further exacerbate tension in the land, by portraying the President as pandering to ethnic and other primordial tendencies.
According to him, this narrative is contrary to Buhari’s pledge to belong to all Nigerians.
The statement read in part: “The campaign, scheduled to be launched anytime soon through editorials and purported special investigative stories, is designed to further exacerbate tension in the land, by portraying the President as pandering to ethnic and other primordial tendencies, contrary to his pledge to belong to all Nigerians.
“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.’’
Buhari had on Thursday while meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), led by Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, restated his even-handedness on the issues of ethnicity and religion.
The President said: “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.”
Adesina, however, maintained that those who were bent on stoking ethnic and religious unrest in the country had remained 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 the quest for power, and filthy lucre,’’ he added.
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