The former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank has written to the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, calling on the world leaders to come to the aid of Nigeria and the people of Ekiti state in what he described as “dark hour of massive security crackdown against the people.”
According to Frank, democracy in Nigeria is again being confronted by massive attack allegedly launched by security agents employed and funded by the country to protect the citizens and safe guard the nation’s territorial integrity.
In an open letter to the UN on Thursday titled: “Police siege on Ekiti: Nigeria democracy on trial” Frank said: “Yesterday the world saw an appalling form of impunity and brutality against innocent citizens in Ekiti State apparently in a last ditch effort to sway the results of this Saturday’s gubernatorial election in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Kayode Fayemi.
“The rally (road walk) organized by the outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not only disrupted with noxious and harmful gas, Fayose was forcefully restricted to the Government House – where he was equally gassed. This renewed intimidation, harassment and attacks against leaders and members of an opposition political party in Nigeria, has compelled me to alert you of the threat to peace and democracy in the country as amply demonstrated by the highhandedness and open display of intolerance by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against opposition political parties in Nigeria.
“There is, therefore, urgent need for the United Nations (UN) under your leadership to intervene to prevent the ongoing gross violation of the fundamental human rights of citizens to assemble and the brutal attacks against the person of Fayose and hundreds of supporters of the PDP, who had congregated for a grand finale rally in favour of its candidate in the Election, Professor Olusola Eleka, only to be driven back to their houses by the police through the use of tear gas and live ammunitions. Note that the police were recently deployed to the State by the Federal Government under the guise of maintaining law and order before, during and after the Saturday election. Regrettably, the police deployed to the state in addition to the officers and men in the Ekiti State Police Command have now turned to be an army of occupation.
“The ongoing police siege on Ekiti State by 30,000 fully armed policemen in the guise of election duty is nothing but a well-orchestrated security crackdown on innocent citizens who are hoping to be allowed to cast their ballot on Saturday and participate in electing the next governor of the state.
“It has been established by several UN Conventions and human rights’ charter that the right to vote and be voted for is an inalienable right of a citizens of any country. For the a avoidance of doubt, the number of police personnel and equipment deployed so far for the Ekiti election include a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of operations, Assistant Inspectors General of Police, Four Commissioners of Police, eight Deputy Commissioners of Police, 30,000 fully armed policemen, two patrol surveillance helicopters, 5 additional armored personnel carriers, 10 amoured personnel vehicles and 25,000 police patrol vehicles. The above represents police deployment. Other security agencies will yet make similar deployments.”
While calling on UN to call the APC led federal government to order, Frank said: “I dare say that the unlawful use of the police against innocent citizens and members of the opposition PDP in Ekiti is a direct manifestation of the level of desperation of the APC and the present administration to win the Ekiti Governorship election. Let me add that had ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP be this desperate in 2015, Buhari and APC would never have tasted power. Impunity has overwhelmed us in Nigeria. And we need help to ensure that our democracy and voting process is devoid of harassment, intimidation and undue influence by the government.
“If the open display of barbarity by the police in Ekiti State, is anything to go by, one can safely say that a worse fate awaits members and leaders of the opposition political parties during the 2019 general elections. The UN and by extension the world cannot afford to condone this open aggression against a peaceful people gearing up to elect a governor of their choice! This is why I am calling on you to come to the aid of Nigeria in this dark hour of massive security crackdown against the people of Ekiti State. Otherwise, chaos and anarchy may soon reign in an unimaginable way should the people now pushed against the wall be forced to resort to self help to defend themselves. If a Governor can be treated in such shabby and inhuman manner, then where lies the hope for the common man on the streets?”