The Department of State Services (DSS) has been pressed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate to reveal the names of individuals who intend to install an interim government.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the DSS said it had proof of a scheme by some influential figures to appoint an interim administration and prevent Bola Ahmed Tinubu from taking office on May 29.
The secret police claimed that the scheme involved organizing violent demonstrations around the country to force the proclamation of a state of emergency and obtaining baseless judicial injunctions to delay the inauguration.
Atiku, however, in a statement released by his media assistant Timi Frank claimed that the report of a plot to stop Tinubu from taking office was a deliberate attempt to get both the PDP presidential candidate and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) arrested and crack down on protesters before May 29.
“The DSS’ purported intelligence is fake. It is a plot to crackdown on protesters and arrests opposition political leaders before May 29,” he said.
“We have credible information that the DSS issued the statement in preparation for its planned disruption of ongoing protest by Nigerians who are demonstrating peacefully to demand justice and the restoration of their stolen mandate.
“Where was their intelligence when the Independent National Electoral Commission and Mahmood Yakubu were compromised to rig the 2023 general election?” he asked.
He contends that “Nigerians have been under siege by bandits, kidnappers and terrorists for a long time now, but the DSS never gave intelligence to foil kidnapping, heinous attacks, maiming and killing of innocent Nigerians.
“The only time you see the DSS coming up to talk about intelligence is whenever Nigerians are preparing to either protest against obnoxious government policies, rules, human rights abuses or carrying out lawful political activities.
“The DSS must stop this method of intimidating Nigerians, especially politicians, whenever they want to exercise their constitutional rights.
“In fact, we dare the DSS or any other security outfit in the country to arrest Atiku and Obi before May 29 and see the wrath of Nigerians.”
Speaking further, he called on protesters not to be discouraged by “this DSS’ fake intelligence of a phantom ING plot.”
“We are aware that the DSS is planning to sponsor counter-protests across the country to clash with the peaceful protesters and use that as an excuse to clamp down on them.
“We dare the DSS to name those involved in the phantom plot if they genuinely have the ‘intelligence’ about a plot to instigate an ING so the world will know those who plan to stop the inauguration of the president.
“But we know they are not being sincere. This is often their style whenever they want to engage in propaganda and do a hatchet job.
“On the contrary, let them name the purported politicians involved in the plot. Their real intent is to clamp down on protesters and arrest Atiku and Obi before May 29. Nothing more.
“We use this opportunity to call on the international community to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the DSS to order and stop them from meddling in the democratic process.
“The DSS is the one that is about to scuttle democracy in the country at this moment by plotting to arrest Atiku and Obi and other top opposition politicians,” he said.
In order to ensure that the stolen mandate of the Nigerian people is restored through peaceful protests and the legal system, Atiku urged the UK, US, and EU to urgently call on the Nigerian government to permit Nigerians to exercise their democratic rights.