A stalwart of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Timi Frank, has reported the travail of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to the Government of the United Kingdom, urging Prime Minister Theresa May to come to intervene.
Frank called on May to prevail on Nigerian government over alleged human right abuses and persecution of perceived opponents by the present administration, stating that “as things stand, nobody knows who will be the next victim of government’s anti-democratic and inhuman activities.”
Frank said this in an open letter sent to the Prime Minister through the British Ambassador to Nigeria on Wednesday.
According to the APC chieftain, democracy in Nigeria is being driven to a precarious state as a result of a new regime of persecution, intimidation, repression and suppression being meted out against perceived political opponents in the country.
He told the Prime Minister that, “The frame-up and trial of the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and a vast number of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members, by the agents of the presidency is a sure sign that unless the leaders of the free world come to the aid of the country, conditions will deteriorate irretrievably.
“Nigerians are alarmed at the dehumanizing campaign being waged by its own government against free citizens through incessant arrests, detention and trial of the innocent in the name of anti-corruption war, which has been generally acknowledged to be highly selective, going by the manner it is being conducted.
“It has come to our knowledge that the executive and its henchmen have concluded plans to force the impeachment of Saraki and Dogara as President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
“Already, the government is about to drag Dogara and some of his colleagues to court over allegations of budget padding earlier raised by a suspended lawmaker. Recently, a court purportedly directed the Federal Government to prosecute all the accused persons fingered in the budget padding scandal of which Dogara is number one.
“Even though Saraki has been on trial over alleged false asset declaration since 2015, new attempts are being made to link him with criminal elements as a way to gag him and his teaming supporters ahead of the upcoming general elections.
“Already the government has commenced phased withdrawal of security personnel attached to Saraki and Dogara, in a bid to expose them to danger and personal harm, ahead of the plot to forcefully remove them as presiding officers of the National Assembly.
“However, be it known to you and the U.K. Parliament that any attempt to compel the impeachment of the two presiding officers of the 8th National Assembly will be resisted by Nigerians just like the attempt to link Saraki with the Offa bank robbery suspects has been vehemently rejected across the country. This is one of the reasons the nPDP bloc of the APC is threatening to pull out of the alliance having realized that its members are being deliberately targeted for persecution.”
Frank alleged in his letter that the entire National Assembly is on trial under the present administration, adding that democracy in the country may cease to exist if the ferocious attacks against lawmakers is allowed to continue.
“I believe that the ordeal of the President of the Senate under the present administration, characteristically typifies the venomous zeal which has turned the agents of the state into instruments of victimization against its own people.”
The Bayelsa-born politician noted that if Saraki, who worked tirelessly to bring the current administration in place, can be made to undergo tremendous vilification, then there is no hope for members of the opposition political parties and common citizens.
He added, “A question the U.K. Government should ask is: How come anybody believed to be opposed to the policies of the present administration will sooner than later be accused of being corrupt and a sponsor of armed robbery and murders?”
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