The Presidency has said the comparison of President Muhammadu Buhari to autocratic leaders by Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, was an unpardonable blackmail.
The Presidency said this on Sunday in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.
The statement reads in full:
You mentioned the name of Professor Wole Soyinka. Some of these critics of government are people whom we have great respect and admiration for.
When things are going wrongly with law and order in the country, they say the Police are not doing their work.
They raise their voices, asking that “the culprits to be booked and expeditiously punished in the most severe manner.”
The police under a new leadership is now rising to the occasion, saying “we cannot take any more atrocities against the law in our country and they are saying don’t do anything.
They are calling out President Buhari and comparing him to autocratic leaders.” This is an unpardonable blackmail that cannot stop Police and other law enforcement agencies from doing their work.
A Nigerian is by right empowered to call for a change of government using constitutional means; to protest peacefully against government policies and decisions.
But to call for the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government and president and worse – were those calling for it to attempt to do so – is not acceptable under any law in Nigeria.
Violence will ever be accepted again as a way to change governments in this country, Those days are gone.
Nigeria has a well-crafted Constitution and elaborate laws governing elections that guide an orderly succession in government.
We have a judicial system that actively serves as a watchdog of the people’s rights.
Yet, we are daily witnesses to obscene display of delight in the killing of our soldiers and policemen, an open contempt for the country’s laws and its people, accompanied by loud cheers from the so-called New Media. Is this the way to grow a country?