By Gabriel Olawale
LAGOS—The Coalition of Civil Society Groups Against Terrorism in Nigeria, CCSGATN, has urged the Directorate of Security Service (DSS) to initiate the arrest and probable prosecution of an aide to former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his series of campaign of calumny, acts of espionage and deliberate falsehood against the Nigerian government and state.
In a strongly worded petition forwarded to the Director-General of the State Security and signed by the Convener of the coalition, Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi and Secretary, Mr. John Itani, the coalition, which consists of over 30 groups, said the threats and subversive statements of Timi Frank should not be taken lightly, adding that the media attacks of the former deputy spokesman of the ruling party may be costly for the nation if not quickly nipped in the bud.
According to the coalition, the offensive statements of Frank before, during and after the 2019 general elections have not only been found to be outrightly false, but they are also inciting.
Timi Frank, a former deputy national Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), fell out with the ruling party before joining the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as one of his aides.
The petition reads: “We invite your attention to the continual media onslaught, campaign of calumny, and acts of espionage against President Muhammadu Buhari by one Mr Timi Frank, a native of Bayelsa State and an aide to former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“Over the past few months, Mr Timi Frank has preoccupied himself with a well orchestrated campaign of calumny, the use of falsehood in propagating lies and unfounded statements against President Buhari and several other government officials in Nigeria, thereby subjecting them to all forms of local and international ridicules.
“On several occasions before the just concluded general elections, Timi Frank accused President Buhari of meeting with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, with the aim to perfect plans to rig the 2019 election. This has been found to be utterly false and misleading on the personalities involved.”
The petition reads further that, “Frank boastfully said it all over the world that he has information through his informants in the Presidential Villa about every step taken by the President and every action of the Federal Government.
“As at today, Timi Frank is desperately pursuing a campaign of calumny against the leadership of our security agencies particularly the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai, and this is being done by him not minding the consequences on our National Security and intelligence.
“By implication and out of his desperation, he wants to subject our nation to further ridicule, which is the ultimate aim of Timi Frank and his sponsors,” the coalition said.
While also drawing allusion with Frank’s action with some other individuals and groups aiming to destabilize the nation, the coalition said the current leadership of the military has been above board in all its dealings, adding that soldiers deserve all encouragement and support at this time.
The coalition stated that: “As it could be confirmed in series of Frank’s previous and latest subversive statements against the Nigerian state and our security agencies, there is a clear suggestion of a strong sinister move by Timi Frank and his sponsors to undermine the nations national security and also destabilise our sustain effort as a nation aimed at eradicating all forms of activities which might be threatening the unity and development of Nigeria.
“Also note sir, that the actions of Timi Frank, suggests that he has some external backings and we have strong reasons to believe that his threats are indeed real and one that needs the attention of your office to investigate, hence this petition to to your dutiful office,” the petition said.