Comrade Timi Frank, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has told the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, not to be deceived by the lies and propaganda being spewed by the President Muhammadu Buhari government concerning the political, social and economic health of Nigeria when she arrives on her official visit to the country.
Prime Minister May is scheduled to visit Nigeria on Friday among two other countries in Africa.
Frank, who recently decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the ruling APC, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, urged May to use the visit to interrogate the germane issues which bother on the freedom and liberty of the people on expression, and the press in the country.
In a statement he entitled “Letter to Theresa May” on Tuesday, the former APC chieftain noted that the rising scale of human rights violations, intimidation, harassment, arrests and prosecution of perceived political enemies under the guise of anti-corruption should not escape the scrutiny of the Prime Minister.
He wrote, “Dear Theresa May, It is with great delight that we welcome you to Nigeria for this auspicious visit. I must say that many Nigerians, particularly my humble self, are very glad to have you visit the country.
“Nigerian are glad because they believe your presence in Nigeria will enable you to see things as they are and not how they had hitherto been presented to you in Downing Street, London. I also believe that after observing the harsh conditions under which Nigerians daily make their living, you will be better placed to advice the government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, on how to proceed with his change agenda in such a way that will make it beneficial to the masses of this country economically, socially and politically.
“We are glad that as a Prime Minister who is at the verge of making history with Brexit in Britain, you are well acquainted on how to lead a major national reform without compromising on the rule of law and fundamental human rights of citizens.
“It is the hope of majority of Nigerians that following the role of the U.K. in Nigeria up to Independence in 1960, your presence in Nigeria will kickstart a fundamental change in the hostile attitude of the present administration towards Nigerians.
“Be that as it may, I wish to urge you not be carried away by rich hospitality and royal banquet that will be lavished on you during this visit. Rather, Nigerians want you to use the visit to re-interrogate, albeit diplomatically, the many cases of human rights abuses, disdain for the rule of law, disobedience to court orders, selective and lopsided anti-corruption crusade, intimidation, harassment, hounding, arrests and forceful detention of opposition political party leaders, and the invasion of National Assembly by hired thugs and the attempt to forcefully take over an arm of government – the National Assembly – by one of the security agencies recently.
“Following your quest and passionate campaign to end modern day slavery and prevent illegal migration from Africa to Europe, I implore you to use your good offices to prevail on President Buhari to return to the path of democracy and rule of law in the conduct of government business in the country without which people seeking to escape from the oppressive regime and migrate to Europe will continue to swell.”
Frank continued, “The questions Nigerians want Your Excellency to ask President Buhari include:
“1. Is Buhari a democrat or an authoritarian/dictatorial President?
“2. Is Buhari fighting corruption or shielding alleged corrupt persons who now find the APC under his leadership a safe haven to escape prosecution?
“3. Why is Buhari desperate to get Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki forcefully removed as President of the Senate – by hook or crook – through the invasion of the Senate by thugs and recent siege on the National Assembly by a section of the nation’s security apparatus.
“4. Why is Buhari and APC trying to truncate democracy by refusing to prosecute those who have violated the sanctity of the parliament through the recent brazen invasion/siege on the National Assembly?
“5. Why has Buhari not ensured the release of Leah Sharibu – the Dapchi school girl – who has continued to languish in captivity after others girls they were kidnapped together have since regained freedom through government’s direct intervention?
“6. Why has Buhari kept the Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheik El-Zakzaky in detention for over three years despite several court rulings granting him bail?
“7. Similarly, why has Buhari refused Col. Sambo Dasuki to go home after six court judgements, including the ECOWAS Court of Justice, that have granting him bail?
“8. How can Buhari claim to champion an anti-corruption fight when the APC under his leadership continues to compromise the nation’s electoral process through open vote buying to win elections?
“9. Why has Buhari continued to gag the press through arrests and long detentions as witness in the case of Jones Abiri – a Port Harcourt based journalist – who was detained without trial for two years and a Premium Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe who was incarcerated for failing to disclose his sources to the police?
“10. Why has Buhari refused to name murderous Fulani herdsmen as a terrorist organization just like he did to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)?
“It is important for you to ask Buhari the above questions and get clear cut answers instead of being fed with propaganda and lies for which this government is now reputed.”