A member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), at the weekend, petitioned the U.S. President, Donald Trump, appealing to him to save Nigeria’s democracy threatened by the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, who he accused of undermining the rule of law.
Comrade Timi Frank, a chieftain of the APC, a suspended member f the NWC, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary (on suspension), in an open letter to Trump, titled “Urgent Need To Save Nigeria’s Democracy,” a week after he wrote an open letter to Buhari, decried the state of the country’s economy, Nigeria’s human rights record under President Buhari, killings across the country and the plight of Nigerians.
Frank observed that the economy is still battling to fully recover from recession; he accused the Buhari administration of failing to obey court orders.
The letter to Trump was sent through the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington.
Asking for Trump’s intervention, Frank accused President Buhari of largely paying lip service to promises he made to the Nigerian electorate, adding that he has “refused to follow the rule of law in the exercise of his powers under a democratic setting.”
The suspended APC NWC member stated that democracy in Nigeria has been facing “some of its most severe threats and unless something is done, it could be derailed and jeopardized altogether.”
The letter read in part: “Your Excellency sir, while you daily work to advance the cause of the United States, the Nigerian situation under the present administration, led by the ruling All Progressives Congress, has failed to promote the nation’s interest and work for the sustenance of our democracy. It was most unfortunate that when President Buhari visited you recently, he minced words on the true situation of the current happenings in the country, which pose a great threat to our national fabric of Unity, Peace and Progress.
“The ruling APC and President Buhari were ecstatically embraced by Nigerians and voted into office with a promise to fight corruption, insecurity and grow the economy in 2015. However, three years on, prevailing maladministration and insecurity have left everyone spell bound, as wanton killings by herdsmen, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, corruption and insurgency in the north-east still ravage the country unabated.
“Furthermore, the cost of fighting these deadly malaise continues to skyrocket without corresponding mitigation in insecurity. A recent example is the withdrawal of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight Boko Haram and other security challenges across the country, by the Executive in collaboration with the National Economic Council, without due recourse to the National Assembly for statutory approval.
“More so, need I mention that the recent advance payment of $496 million to your country for the purchase of 12 Tucano fighter jets, by the Buhari-led Federal Executive Council, was done in complete violation of extant laws regarding such purchases. I must say that that action remains illegal, criminal and a breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which empowers the National Assembly to approve all expenditures of the executive.
“I am aware that the United States is a nation ruled by laws and therefore cannot condone impunity and illegality of this nature – no matter the amount of benefits accrual to it from the sale. I would therefore, kindly appeal to you, to use your good offices to ensure that the $496million is repatriated into the Nigerian coffers and the deal renegotiated and made to follow due process.”
Frank bemoaned that the right to life, freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom from fear, torture and molestation which are irreducible minimums in any democratic setting, have taken the back seat since the Buhari administration came into power.
He stated that these rights are being denied under the guise of fighting corruption by the government and its agents describing the fight against corruption by the Buhari government as laudable but “grossly selective.”
He said Nigerians are no longer free to express themselves or to criticise the activities and policies of the government without being assaulted or clamped down upon.
Frank cited examples of the harassment meted out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as typical of intolerance of opposition by the government.
“I believe you are better placed to advice the current leadership on the need to obey the rule of law and be impartial in its ongoing anti-corruption campaign.
“I humbly invite you to work with other defenders of democracy, freedom and human rights across the world, like the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and organizations like the Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc, to ensure that the present gagging of the press and opposition political party members in Nigeria do not degenerate further.
“Help us to prevent imminent breakdown of law and order that may result to chaos and anarchy if the current atmosphere of government’s orchestrated harassment, intimidation, coercion, denial of the right to free speech and outright repression of perceived enemies of the administration, is allowed to continue unabated.
“I thank you in anticipation that you will take positive steps to liaise with your friend, President Muhammadu Buhari, in order to prevent escalation of anti-democratic acts by agents of the administration,” Frank declared.
Nat. Standard3 months ago
Minister, Idris, challenges Senate to review outdated laws to improve performance in the information sector
Education2 months ago
Hours after suspending accreditation of degree certificates from Benin Republic, Togo, FG set to extend sanction to Uganda, Kenya, others
Sports2 months ago
Ayanwale emerge winner of Seyi Tinubu Table Tennis Challenge as Ogunlende, Bolowotan task youths on sports involvement
NCC3 weeks ago
Telecom Indicators: Nigeria sees steady increase in active voice and internet subscriptions, drop in teledensity
Aviation3 months ago
UAE grants Air Peace direct flight approval to Dubai
Agribusiness1 month ago
Borno government tasks media on sustaining public interest, core values
Aviation2 months ago
Aviation agencies: Tinubu sends more directors packing
Aviation4 weeks ago
NCAA cautions pilots, airlines as NiMet alerts Nigerians of dust haze