Foremost political activist and commentator, Comrade Timi Frank, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to use the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary as a launch pad for development and unity.
Frank, who made the call in a press statement in Abuja on Wednesday, to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, also congratulated Nigerians for their resilience and never-say-die spirit in the face of daunting and mounting economic, social and political challenges.
He urged Nigerians to find a way to make themselves happy notwithstanding the harsh economic realities, which have been further aggravated by the recent sharp increases in the pump price of fuel and electricity tariffs.
“Mr. President must therefore use the occasion of Nigeria at 60 to plead for forgiveness and initiate progressive policies that would reunite the nation as an indivisible entity,” Frank said.
He also flayed the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for taking Nigerians for a ride by suspending its proposed indefinite strike called to protest increase in pump price of petrol and electricity tariffs.
He called on the leaders of all trade unions affiliated to the NLC to immediately pass a vote of no confidence on the NLC and TUC executives for betrayal and colossal embarrassment of the organized labour.
He urged Nigerians to remain resolute and steadfast because “tough times never last but tough people do” adding that the country shall yet emerge from this economic darkness into a new dawn of prosperity with adequate security.
He insisted that Buhari’s reign from December 1983 to August 1985 as military ruler and his present stint have been characterized by mis-governance, cluelessness, pretense, wickedness, corruption, impunity, hardship, intolerance and pauperization of the people.
Frank, who is a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noted that life has become increasingly nightmarish and unbearable for the people as virtually every sector of the economy has collapsed under the present administration.
He lamented the rising insecurity situation in the country notwithstanding that a retired General is the President.
The Bayelsa-born political activist insisted that the rising cases of killings, rape, kidnapping, road crashes are direct fallouts of the failure, ineptitude and cluelessness of the present administration to proactively secure the lives and property of citizens and embark on necessary infrastructural renewal.
“With Nigeria attaining 60 years of nationhood, Buhari’s only legacy that is visible to Nigerians are his divisive tendencies and infliction of unbearable pain, sorrow, tears and hardship on innocent citizens.
“What is there in celebrating empty numbers when the standard of living of an average Nigerian does not portray any modicum of socioeconomic progress, befitting of citizens of a country that has been independent for six decades?
“It is unfortunate that Buhari has contributed immensely in stagnating and ruining the potentials of a well endowed nation – both as a military head of state and democratic leader.
“His religious bigotry and ethnocentric ideology, has further expanded the nation’s fault lines and made ineffective the towering legacies bequeathed by past administrations.
“Under Buhari, impunity and corruption have attained dizzying heights while insecurity continues to spread like wildfire in parts of the country.
“Besides, the fight against corruption – one of his administration’s cardinal agenda – has become a child’s play.
“The Legislature and Judiciary that are supposed to check the executive have become soulless appendages of the Presidency under Buhari – whose interference has become the worst ever, in the history of democratic governance in the country.
“The Judiciary has never been this abused, and compromised. Justice is now sold like a commodity in a market stall.
“Court judgments are being dished out to suit the whims and caprices of those in the Presidency while Buhari continuously feigns ignorance.
“Nigeria which used to be a pride among the comity of nations, has suddenly become the hunger capital of the world.
“The level of hunger, poverty and despair has risen to disturbing heights, while the economy has plunged to its lowest ebb despite humongous loans already amassed with nothing to show for the,” he said.
He commended the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and European Union for the pressure it mounted on the Buhari’s administration which brought about a transparent, free and credible governorship election in Edo state.
According him, “their timely intervention was partly responsible for the preservation and consolidation of democracy witnessed in Edo State on 19th September, 2020.”