Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
The Federal Government has alleged that some opposition elements are working with foreign hostile intelligence services to scuttle the forthcoming elections.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the allegation, added that some unnamed opposition members are working underground to enlist the support of countries like the United States of America (USA) and Britain to discredit the election before and when it is held.
Mohammed spoke at a press conference, in Abuja. It was the second time in less than two weeks that the minister would accuse the opposition of plotting to scuttle the general election. Presidential and National Assembly elections are billed for February 16, while governorship and state Assembly polls will hold on March 2.
Although the minister did not name the foreign intelligence services and the opposition elements that are working with the opposition to undermine the election, he insisted that intelligence at the disposal of the federal government was certain about the plot.
He said a new intelligence report shows that the opposition is working to get the backing of key countries like the United States of America (USA) and Britain to back its claims that the government is not committed to a free and fair election .
“Foreign hostile intelligence services are collaborating with the opposition elements to make this possible,” Mohammed alleged.
He added the desperate opposition is doing everything possible, including instigating widespread violence, as well as relentless attacks on key institutions, to discredit the forthcoming election.
“They know they will lose the election, but, they want victory by subterfuge.
“To further their plan, the opposition is dispatching a 10-member delegation to some Western capitals, including London, Brussels and Washington, DC, to sell the idea that the Buhari administration has perfected the plan to rig the election.“
Asked to back his claim with evidence , he re-emphasised that there was a credible intelligence that the opposition is using the Conference of United Political Parties (CUPP), which he likened to the infamous Association of Better Nigeria (ABN), to work with some forces to scuttle the general election or, at worse, discredit it.
He said: “With just 12 days to the 2019 elections, we’ve called this press conference to alert Nigerians on the evil machinations of the opposition, which is not campaigning to win the election – because they know they can’t win a free, fair and peaceful election, but, are busy planning how to scuttle or discredit it.
“Today, still based on credible intelligence, we can reveal that the opposition is moving a step further. “They are working hard to discredit the forthcoming election before, during and after the polls.