By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has appealed to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, United Nations, and other members of the international community to urgently call President Muhammadu Buhari to order over his incessant intimidation and harassment of opposition figures in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Frank specifically condemned in strong terms the plot to arrest the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, over frivolous charges simply because of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Peter Obi, was a former chairman of the bank.
He also said apart from the indiscriminate arrest and freezing of bank accounts of many opposition figures, some businessmen suspected to be supporting the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are also being harassed by agencies of government on the orders of the presidency.
In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, Frank called on the international power blocs to come to the aid of Nigeria to prevent a revolt against the government by citizens who are now being pushed to the wall.
According to Frank, from all indications the current government is not ready for the general elections in 2019 as evident on its refusal to assent to the Electoral Act amendment bill meant to correct past lapses and ensure free, fair, credible and transparent elections.
He added that since electoral body lifted embargo on open rally, the APC and its presidential candidate have failed to organize political rallies to sell their programmes, hence their resort to intimidate and frustrate opposition members.
The former APC spokesman, who condemned the arrest of Doyin Okupe, the search of Atiku’s son’s residence in Abuja, unlawful freezing of the accounts of some PDP members, arrest of activists and Journalists among others, stated that such anti-people actions were reminiscent of past military dictatorship in the country.
He urged the international community to save Nigeria’s democracy, and said: “The APC’s government should not be allowed to create another monster. If nothing is done to halt this ongoing harassment, it will get to a state where people will begin to defend themselves and by that time the current Boko Haram insurgency will be child’s play.
“In a democracy, how can a President treat his country men and women as less than human? The APC’s government is using state apparatus like the Police and EFCC to intimidate innocent Nigerians, unlawfully. Nigerians are living in fear. Freedom of Speech has been put on hold under President Buhari’s government. Critics of the administration are increasingly being hurled into jail.
“Despite signing the Peace Accord, we believe that President Buhari will not abide by its tenets based on his antecedents. Unless the friends of Nigeria come to its aid, unless this government is put to check, it is not only the 2019 election that is endangered. The continued existence of the country is also in jeopardy.
“So, I urge the international community and all the lovers of democracy all over the world to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop all forms of intimidation and harassment of Nigerian citizens over spurious allegations,” Frank stated.