The Nigerian Government claims credible intelligence has it that opposition politicians have engaged bandits and Boko Haram insurgents ahead of the 2019 general election. Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

He said: "As you are aware, Nigeria goes to the polls just 27 days from now. However, the Federal Government is in possession of credible intelligence to the effect that widespread violence being orchestrated by the opposition is threatening the 2019 general election. You have definitely seen the massive and warm reception that President Muhammadu Buhari has been receiving across the country, compared to the thinning crowds that have been attending the opposition rallies.

"The desperate opposition is orchestrating widespread violence with a view to truncating the elections, thus triggering a constitutional crisis that could snowball into the establishment of an interim government."

Lai Mohammed went on to give specifics about the allegations.

He continued: "We have credible intelligence that bandits and Boko Haram insurgents have been mobilised to engage in massive attacks and other acts of violence in several states across the country.

"The states include: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara. The Benue-based armed criminal group, led by Terwase Akwaza, also known as Gana, has been commissioned to strike soft targets in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States.

"In Kano State, a group of notorious miscreants have been mobilised by some prominent opposition leaders to provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections. Some armed mercenaries from Niger Republic have been contracted to attack top government functionaries, including state governors, across the North-West between now and the elections."

The minister said the Nigerian government would not fold its hands and allow this happen as they are taking every possible measure to tackle the situation.

He called on Nigerians to "shine their eyes" in the coming days and that “the punchline of our long running campaign on security – if you see something, say something – remains relevant, perhaps even more, at this time".

Lai Mohammed also urged the media to help in educating the public on possible threats that are capable of disturbing the smooth run of the election.

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