The Presidency on Thursday described the “return or resign” protests that started in Abuja on Monday as “an illegal assembly stealthily organised to deliver a blow to the war against corruption.”
According to a statement made available to journalists, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this while receiving members of the Centre for Civil Society and Justice, a civil society coalition who staged a rally in support of President Muhammadu Buhari at the precincts of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Shehu assured them that attempts to derail the war against corruption “using subterfuge and bluff” will not succeed.
The presidential spokesman also praised Nigerians for rising against what he called the “chaotic rout of protesters” assembled at the Unity Fountain demanding Buhari’s return, dismissing such demands as “unlawful.”
He said, “It might be taken for granted that the beneficiaries of the old order are fighting back.
“We have been warned that corruption will fight back. In a country where just one woman, for having the opportunity to serve as minister has N47.2bn and $487.5m of public resources in cash and property traced to her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, you don’t expect the beneficiaries of that order to allow the Buhari administration some peace.
“They want to distract us. But what the Acting President wants to assure patriotic citizens is that the government will not bend.
“As far as the President is concerned, he has done the needful by handing the reins of authority to the Vice President.
“Since the law of the country does not give a time limit for the President’s return, it cannot be imposed by a saber-rattling group or individual.”
Shehu commended the CCSJ members for being “orderly” in their demonstration and urged them to shun all provocations by opponents of government.