Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives
Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has enjoined the Chief of Army Staff,
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to publicly apologize to him, saying that the
military’s indictment by the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) over its disruptive role in the Governorship and State Assembly
elections in Rivers State has vindicated him.
In his reaction to a statement released by the INEC on Saturday in Abuja –
where the electoral body expressed displeasure over the role played by
armed military personnel during the Rivers state governorship election,
Frank said he had been vindicated.
The former APC’s deputy national spokesman said he had raised the alarm
and called on the military authorities to be neutral before the election,
adding that instead of the security agency to heed his call, “Buratai and
his co-politicians in military uniform disregarded it and tagged him as a
“Protagonist of Fake News.”
According to the INEC’s statement on the Rivers State gubernatorial
election: “Collation centers were invaded by some soldiers and armed gangs
resulting in the intimidation and unlawful arrest of election officials
thereby disrupting the collation process.”
Recall that Timi Frank had issued a statement exposing plans by the APC’s
government to militarize the Rivers State governorship election but was
denied in some quarters.
While describing the military’s involvement in the 2019 general elections
as shameful, Frank said if the likes of Buratai and his cohorts are tired
of wearing military uniforms “they should form a political party or
publicly register as a department under the APC.”
The political activist challenged the military to name just one country in
Africa or the entire world where their colleagues have brazenly taken
sides during elections “like what Nigeria witnessed in both the
presidential, National Assembly and governorship elections?
“In 2015, there was no reported case of an active involvement of military
personnel during the general elections. Although, that was the last time
Nigeria had a civilian President who had respect for democracy and the
rule of law.
“Therefore, the honest declaration by the INEC regarding the involvement
of military under Buratai in the Rivers State governorship election is a
shame and I deserve apology from the Nigerian Army for tagging me as a
“Protagonist of Fake News.”
“Evil, they say, can only succeed when good people refuse to talk. As far
as Nigeria is concerned, I and other like-minds shall not be intimidated
or forced into a conspiracy of silence in the face of oppression – which
the Nigerian military under Buratai is reputed for,” Frank stated.
He called on the International Criminal Court (ICC), human rights
organizations and international community to take note of what he
described as “a show of shame and wanton subversion of democracy by the
Nigerian Army under Buratai.”