Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressive Congress, Comrade Timi Frank has made a U-Turn, apologizing to fomer president Goodluck Jonathan for criticizing his administration in the buildup to the 2015 general elections.
In an open letter made available to the press on Sunday, May 20, 2018, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary accused President Muhammadu Buhari of “making life worthless” for Nigerians.
The APC chieftain said under Buhari’s watch, insecurity, injustice and hunger has become the order of the day. He also accused President Buhari of “sweeping under the carpet” corruption allegations against members of his cabinet. While criticizing the “fragrant disregard of court orders”, Frank noted that Nigerians no longer enjoy the right to free expression under the Buhari-led administration.
“I would first of all like to use this opportunity to formally apologise to the immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for all the tantrums and mistreatment orchestrated by me against his person while he held sway at the helm of affairs of our great country,” the letter read.
“Indeed, I and many others may have misunderstood Jonathan’s silence for weakness and thus pushed harder to malign his person and portray him as a weak leader.
“Having achieved the change agenda, it is now crystal clear, that the change we had clamoured for is not the change we got. Under your (Buhari) tenure the rule of law has been replaced with the rule of force. You have injected fear into the society. People who voted for you to save them from corruption and ineptitude have been barred from speaking up against the myriads of evil and wicked acts being perpetrated by officials in your government.
“Unfortunately, corruption is in the upward swing under your watch. This is why I had to apologize to Jonathan since events of the last three years have shown the former president was a better leader.
“Mr. President, while your fight against corruption is being promoted as gathering steam leading to an award given to you by the African Union (AU) recently, the allegation of illegal award of $25billion contracts leveled against the GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has not been investigated but rather the malfeasance and shoddy dealing in the NNPC has been swept under the carpet because as the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources any probe of the agency will require that you make some explanations.”
“People freely expressed themselves under Jonathan’s administration without fear of being branded cultists’ sponsors, gunrunners or aiding murderers. But not so under this administration.
“Under Jonathan, Nigerians enjoyed freedom of speech, association and right to hold dissenting views including organising and partaking in protests against unwelcome government policies. All these are no go areas today. Does it mean Jonathan was a better democrat? It is a fact that no member of the APC which was then in the opposition before 2015 was jailed or harassed for expressing dissent.”
He said the current government has shown disdain for court orders.
“El-Zakzaky and Dasuki will not be in jail today but for the present rule of force under this government. It is a pity that today democracy and freedom have become scarce. Insecurity continues unabated,” he wrote.
“Killings take place on a daily basis across the country either by kidnappers, Boko Haram insurgents, herdsmen, and other criminal elements having a free reign around the country. Life has become worthless and uncertain and people cannot speak out for fear of being labeled anti-government by your regime.
“Besides, instead of heeding the wise counsel of leaders like Obasanjo, IBB, TY. Danjuma, General Gowon, and religious leaders like Bakare and Oyedepo, you have again declared to seek reelection as President. You even boasted in Bauchi that you will be reelected which was akin to saying you will rig yourself back into office,” he added. Frank had said that the APC may not go beyond 2019 if the ruling party does not get its acts together.