The Presidency on Thursday assured that attempts to derail the war against corruption using subterfuge and bluff would not succeed.
The Presidency also praised Nigerians for rising against protesters demanding the return of President Buhari, dismissing such demands as unlawful.
Addressing members of the Center for Civil Society and Justice, CCSJ, a civil society coalition who staged a rally in support of President Muhammadu Buhari at the precincts of the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu dismissed the “return or resign” agitation as an illegal assembly stealthily organized to deliver a body blow to the war against corruption.
In a statement, 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 N47.2 billion and $487.5 million of public resources in cash and property traced to her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), 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.”
The presidential spokesman also commended the CCSJ for being orderly in their demonstration and urged them to shun all provocations by opponents of government.
He added: “By divine intervention, Muhammadu Buhari unexpectedly got elected with the ostensible mandate of reversing national decline and securing its future. He got into the Villa through democratic victory at election.
“Anybody desiring to replace him, whether you are wrestler, a hairdresser or a musician, you should go through that process. In a democracy, threats don’t work.”
Speaking on behalf of the demonstrators, the convener, Comrade Prince Goodluck Obi said his group has “absolute faith and trust in President Buhari’s administration and not machinations of corruption and destabilization.
“We are saying from today, 10th August 2017, we will be holding a rally/protest march here at Unity Fountain for the next one month and beyond in order to send clear and unambiguous message to agents of chaos and unity, that Nigerians are solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration based on our democratic mandate entrusted to him on 28th March 2015.”