Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, yesterday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of instigating a campaign of terror against key members of the opposition political parties as part of the grand design to rig the 2019 elections.
Frank, in a statement, claimed that the siege on Senator Dino Melaye’s house by the police, the unlawful detention of activist Deji Adeyanju, and the harassment and intimidation of businessmen believed to be sympathetic to the cause of the opposition are clear violations of the peace accord at this pre-election stage.
Arguing that the developments constitute an act of aggression that cannot be further tolerated as the elections draw near, Frank hinted that members of the opposition would resist the failure by President Buhari to respect the peace accord initiated by the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee.
Frank, who is a key ally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, further accused President Buhari of deploying the anti-graft agencies to stop the opposition parties’ access to legitimate finances to prosecute their campaigns.
“It is now clear that the President and his party are out to rig the 2019 polls, or in the alternative, refuse to respect the will of Nigerians which is to hand over the reins of power to the eventual winner of the poll, should he be defeated as he is sure to be.”
He alleged that top presidential aides were boasting that they already had results of elections that have not been conducted in their kitty with which they would declare the President and all APC candidates vying for various offices across the country winners, irrespective of the actual results of the next polls.
According to Frank, “the illegal extension of the tenure of the current service chiefs and the planed elongation of the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, speak volume about the intention of the present administration to use the nation’s security forces to rig the February elections and illegally perpetuate itself in power.”
He gave the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee 72-hours to call Buhari to order over alleged gross violation of the recently signed peace accord by presidential candidates ahead the general elections.
According to him, failure by the committee to heed his call and ensure that Buhari and his agents conduct their electioneering campaigns in line with international best practices would lead to massive resistance by the people.
He described the much trumpeted “integrity” of Buhari as phony, saying events had since shown him to have encouraged, condoned and perpetuated corrupt activities while deceiving gullible Nigerians that he is an anti-corruption czar.
Frank “wondered how a President that has corrupted the nation’s governance system and security forces – preparatory to using them to rig the forthcoming elections – continue to lay claim to integrity.
“How can a President that has sanctioned the diversion of state funds to finance his election say he has integrity? How can a President that is using state-funded security forces to intimidate, harass, detain and incarcerate members of the opposition say he has integrity?
How can a President who continuously disdains and disregards lawful judicial pronouncements lay claims to integrity?
How can a President who has ordered his men to monitor banks and block the source of funds for opposition political parties say he has integrity?
“Let the presidency be warned. Nigerians are ready to take their destiny in their hands should the government not conduct itself properly to free the country from his clueless and inept administration.
“Any attempt to rig, truncate, or declare the next presidential election inconclusive – like the case of Osun State – or refuse to relinquish power after defeat would be tantamount to reversing the massive democratic gains the country has recorded since 1999.”