The presidency says some persons who are benefitting from the Boko Haram insurgency are inciting Nigerians against the country’s military chiefs.
In a statement, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said “a section of the political class” had hired thousands to protest against the head of the service chiefs on Monday.
Shehu further accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of orchestrating the protests to embarrass the Buhari-led administration.
According to him, the opposition wishes to “give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets”.
“The Presidency wishes to caution a section of the political class against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions,” the statement read.
“This has become necessary in view of received reports that about two thousand men and women have been hired to demonstrate against Nigeria’s service chiefs on Monday.
“This imminent gathering is the latest in a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the opposition to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“As part of this overall scheme, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with its belligerent politics, has been marching from one embassy to the other in protest against the Buhari administration and the nation’s highest court of justice, the Supreme Court. They are keen to give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets, and they will go to any length to promote this false narrative.”
Shehu also made reference to the booing of Buhari when he paid a condolence visit to the state over the killings of 30 persons.
In the recent statement, Shehu, who had earlier said politicians paid some people embarrass the president, added that the same set of people are behind the alleged attempt to protest on Monday.
“The recent incident in Maiduguri, Borno State, where an overwhelmingly cheering crowd gathered to welcome President Buhari, while a handful were recorded booing him, is a part this elaborate scheme,” he said.
“It is misleading, as some analysts have tried to do, to read this as verdict against President Buhari, who emerged winner with 94 per cent of the votes cast in the Presidential election in the state in February last year.
“This was clearly a hired few, but the news was promoted by the opposition who had of course positioned themselves to record the booing – all just to embarrass the President.
“A group of politicians and beneficiaries of the Boko Haram insurgency is right now paying for people to join their planned protest against our country’s service chiefs, and they will no doubt seek the media’s collaboration on this as usual.”
He urged the media to remain unbiased in is reportage, saying, “there is news and there is promoted content – two very different things”