Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to hang a crime on him.
The elder statesman who fell out with Buhari earlier in the year also said his life is under threat.
He said he had it on good authority that his name has been placed on the watch list of different security organisations.
“Impeccable security sources have alleged Chief Obasanjo’s name is on their watch list and that the security of his life cannot be guaranteed,” read a statement which Kehinde Akinyemi, spokesman of Obasanjo, issued on his behalf.
“According to these informants, many of who are in the top echelon of the nation’s security management and close to the corridors of power, the operatives are daily perfecting how to curtail the personal liberties of the former president and hang a crime on him,” the statement read.
“Ordinarily, we would not have dignified these reports with a response but for the fact that many of these informants are not known for flippant and frivolous talks. Secondly, this Government has demonstrably exhibited apathy, and in some cases, encouraged by its conduct, daily loss of lives and property in many States of the country, the office cannot be indifferent.”
Citing the cases of Senate President Bukola Saraki who has several allegations levelled against him, Obasanjo accused Buhari’s government of witch-hunt.
Obasanjo also alleged that the current administration is considering asking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe him.
However, he vowed not to be cowed into silence.
“We are currently in a nation where the Number Three citizen is currently being harangued and the Number Four citizen is facing similar threat within the same Government they serve. There is a groundswell of our nationals that live in fear that they could be hounded, harassed, maimed or even killed as the battle for 2019 takes this worrisome dimension,” he said.
“For Chief Obasanjo, this is a joke carried too far and being someone who do not act on unofficial information, he had cautioned all informants and adopted a wait-and-see attitude to the bestial propositions allegedly being contemplated to cow, cage and embarrass him.
“The content of the alleged beastly designs, it was learnt are two-fold for now. One, to seize his International Passport and clamp him into detention indefinitely, in order to prevent him from further expressing angst on the pervasive mediocrity in the quality of governance, economic management and in the protection of lives and property by the government.
“But, since that could expose the government to a swath of international condemnation, embarrassment and outrage, it is said that another plot being hatched is to cause the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open investigation into the activities of Chief Obasanjo’s administration using false witnesses and documents. This will be a re-enactment of the Abacha era in which Chief Obasanjo was one of the principal victims.
‘The same EFCC that had conducted a clinical investigation on the activities of Obasanjo in and out of Government, it was said, would now be made to stand down the existing report that gave Chief Obasanjo a clean bill of health on the probes are now to get him indicted, fair or foul for possible prosecution and persecution like it is being done to real and perceived opponents, enemies and critics of this government.”
Obasanjo supported Buhari in the buildup to the 2015 election but signs soon emerged that their relationship had gone sour.
The situation reached its height when Obasanjo wrote an open letter to Buhari, asking not to run in 2019.
He also accused him of shielding his corrupt allies and deepening the ethnic divide in the country.
Buhari did not reply Obasanjo directly but when he hosted some of his supporters in Aso Rock last month, he raised the issue of the alleged $16 billion spent on power when Obasanjo was in power.
The president said Obasanjo had some questions to answer, to which the elder statesman replied that he was ready for probe.