A suspended chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, has written an open letter to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, raising the alarm on the survival of democracy under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The politician In the letter to Trump, lamented the state of the worsening human rights record under the present administration.
He also complained of wanton killings across the country and the plight of ordinary Nigerians and sour economy.
Frank’s letter is entitled, “Urgent Need to Save Nigeria’s Democracy.” In the latter, he accused Buhari of failing to obey court orders, while the economy remains in the doldrums despite claims of improvement.
The letter was sent through the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, where he expressly called for the intervention of the United States to salvage the country’s democracy.
Part of the letter reads, “Your Excellency Sir, while you daily work to advance the cause of the United States, the Nigerian situation under the present administration, led by the ruling All Progressives Congress has failed to promote the nation’s interest and work for the sustenance of our democracy. It was most unfortunate that when President Buhari visited you recently, he minced words on the true situation of the current happenings in the country, which pose a great threat to our national fabric of unity, peace and progress.
“The ruling APC and President Buhari were ecstatically embraced by Nigerians and voted into office with a promise to fight corruption, insecurity and grow the economy in 2015. However, three years on, prevailing maladministration and insecurity have left everyone spell bound, as wanton killings by herdsmen, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, corruption and insurgency in the North-East still ravage the country unabated.
“Furthermore, the cost of fighting these deadly malaise continues to skyrocket without corresponding mitigation in insecurity. A recent example is the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight Boko Haram and other security challenges across the country by the executive in collaboration with the National Economic Council, without due recourse to the National Assembly for statutory approval.
“More so, need I mention that the recent advance payment of $496 million to your country for the purchase of 12 Tucano fighter jets by the Buhari-led Federal Executive Council was done in complete violation of extant laws regarding such purchases. I must say that that action remains illegal, criminal and a breach of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which empowers the National Assembly to approve all expenditures of the executive.
“I am aware that the United States is a nation ruled by laws and therefore cannot condone impunity and illegality of this nature – no matter the amount of benefits accruable to it from the sale. I would therefore, kindly appeal to you, to use your good offices to ensure that the $496 million is repatriated into the Nigerian coffers and the deal renegotiated and made to follow due process.”
The Beyalsa born politician further claimed that Nigerians are no longer free to express themselves or to criticize the activities and policies of the government without being assaulted or clamped down upon.
He cited examples of the harassment meted out to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
“I believe you are better placed to advise the current leadership on the need to obey the rule of law and be impartial in its ongoing anti-corruption campaign.
“I humbly invite you to work with other defenders of democracy, freedom and human rights across the world, like the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and organisations like the Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc, to ensure that the present gagging of the press and opposition political party members in Nigeria do not degenerate further.”
“Help us to prevent imminent breakdown of law and order that may result to chaos and anarchy if the current atmosphere of government’s orchestrated harassment, intimidation, coercion, denial of the right to free speech and outright repression of perceived enemies of the administration, is allowed to continue unabated.
“I thank you in anticipation that you will take positive steps to liaise with your friend, President Muhammadu Buhari, in order to prevent escalation of anti-democratic acts by agents of the administration,” he concluded.