The Presidency on Friday said that it is only politicians who are afraid of losing elections that are accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of planning to truncate the democracy and handover to an interim government.
The President also warned those peddling such information which it said was meant to incite the citizenry against the federal government to desist from it, saying that President Buhari was determined to ensure that elections are conducted and that Nigerians are free to vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, or any other political party of their choice.
A statement titled, “Stop the joke about interim government, elections will hold,” issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, also stated that it was not in doubt that the APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is Buhari’s favoured candidate.
The statement told the doubters, the speculators and the untruth-tellers that the naira swap was not in any way meant to keep the President in office beyond May 29.
It quoted Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda Chief of Adolf Hitler, who had said “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, adding that the quote was made in the 1930s, before the internet was birthed.
The statement read: “Let us clearly, specifically and emphatically state that there is absolutely no truth to the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is working towards an interim government or even worse, the truncation of democracy- a democracy that he has helped to keep alive not only here at home, in West Africa but also throughout the continent.
“The talk of the interim government and truncation of democracy is way off the mark. Those who peddle it stand to gain nothing – nothing at all – but the creation of panic and the incitement of the public against the federal government.
“It is another dangerous dimension by people who are afraid that they may lose their elections.
“Everybody is aware that there is a lot of pressure on everyone, all of us – the party, its elected officials, its candidates and law enforcement agencies following the way the currency swap has gone but the way to go is not to panic.
“There is indeed a problem and nobody will pretend that it doesn’t exist.
“It is precise because the President is concerned about this problem that he opened several avenues for consultation with leaders and groups across the country, culminating in his broadcast to the nation on Thursday morning.
“In line with the speech, his clear and unequivocal directive is that the problem of cash supply must be addressed without delay.
“While this is being done, there is no need to panic. We need to work together as leaders; as a people and as one nation. When panic hits, people go into overdrive. Shouting helps no one because no one can listen. “The solution to the problem is not in sending Nigerians into confusion.
“Elections, just a week ahead, will hold and Nigerians will vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, (and any others if they so wish) on the basis of their choice.
“Our people want progress, good governance, law and order and will not be swayed by the negative energy that is being expended against a well-meaning currency change.
“Finally, to state that: the President clearly has a favoured successor in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is not in doubt.
“The fact that Tinubu has been opposed to the speed and timing of the Naira swap timetable does not mean he is against the idea of Nigeria becoming a cashless society. Of course, Tinubu does support a cashless society: for he is a man of the future.
“What should be made crystal clear to the doubters and the speculators and the untruth-tellers is that in no way was the naira swap “engineered” to keep the President in office beyond May 29. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The President looks forward to handing over the reins of power to his elected successor. This will happen on May 29, 2023, as the Constitution requires it. “The days of unelected Nigerian leaders, and those who outstay their welcome by unconstitutionally extending it, have gone.”