The Federal Government has denied speculation that some governors met to compel Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo to resign so that Senate President Bukola Saraki can take over in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Describing unsubstantiated messages being circulated about Osinbajo via text messages and social media as fabricated, the government said they are orchestrated by those who feel threatened by the emerging order.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said there is no iota of truth in the messages being circulated on the health of President Buhari and the purported emergency meetings of state governors in Abuja or anywhere.
He said naysayers have resorted to the use of ethnicity and religion as tools to divide Nigerians, overheat the polity and cause panic among the citizenry, in addition to using fake news and disinformation to distort government activities.
Mohammed said while opposition and criticism are all part of democracy, the crafting and circulation of subversive materials and scare-mongering are not, hence the full wrath of the law will be brought to bear on those who are bent on subverting the state.
“The source/sources of the fabricated messages are already being investigated and the authors should prepare to face the consequences of their actions.
“The emerging trend of resorting to destabilisation and scare-mongering is not unexpected, considering this government’s clampdown on the corrupt elements in the society, the plugging of all financial leaks which has derailed the gravy train of the looters of public treasury and the enthronement of probity and transparency in the polity.
“While we will neither stifle press freedom nor abridge the citizens’ right to express themselves freely, whether through criticism or protests, the security agencies will neither allow any resort to violence nor a willful subversion of the state for whatever reason,” he warned.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, also urged Nigerians to disregard the story that Osinbajo is resigning.
“The story is simply not true. It is a fabrication. Don’t be a purveyor of fake news,” Ojudu wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
“The Vice President is behind his desk carrying out his task. The Federal Executive Council presided over by him has just ended and he has been busy receiving visitors and holding meetings.”