Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has called on the visiting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to help prevail on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to adhere to the rule of law and respect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians as part of her engagements during her visit.
Frank said this has become necessary to save democracy and also stem the growing tide of intimidation, harassment, intolerance and desperation by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration as the 2019 general elections draw near.
Frank said: “Recall that I had about a month ago written an open letter to you with an humble request that you join hands with leaders of the international community to save democracy in Nigeria. I wish to reiterate that call now that you are going to be here in Nigeria on Friday.
“I believe that your visit at this auspicious moment will to a large extent help you to see the living condition of Nigerians and the slow pace of infrastructural development in the country under the present administration.
“I am happy that you have already spoken out about ongoing impunity in the country and I want to urge you to reinforce that message during your conversations with President Buhari and members of his cabinet.
“Permit me to draw your attention to my suggestions to your counterpart in the United Kingdom, Theresa May, during her recent visit to Nigeria and also to urge you to equally seek answers to the questions I proposed to her.
“I have decided to reproduce the 10 questions below for the avoidance of doubt which I want you seek answers to from President Buhari.
“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)?
“I sincerely believe that if you ask the above questions and get assurances that the rule of law will be adhered to and human rights respected by the government, it will go a long way to strengthen our democracy, guarantee freedom of expression, association, assembly and prevent the rising gale of intimidation, harassment, arrests and illegal detention of opposition figures and journalists in the country,” Frank added.
He further noted that if the tension and instability occasioned in the country by the dictatorial tendencies of the present administration is not curbed, bilateral or multilateral agreements entered into by the country will be nugatory abinitio without peace, political stability and social cohesion.