Comrade Timi Frank, the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has raised the alarm over an alleged scheme by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Bellnews reports that the accusation centres around a purported plot to incite a conflict in Niger, aiming to provide a pretext for imposing a state of emergency in Nigeria.
This move, as alleged by Frank, will lead to the suspension of the ongoing proceedings of the Presidential Election Tribunal (PET).
In a statement from Abuja, Frank said President Tinubu is exploiting his position as the ECOWAS chairman to lend legitimacy to his contested electoral victory in Nigeria.
Frank went on to say that Tinubu’s aggressive stance towards Niger serves his self-interest, aiming to utilise it to gain political capital, enhance the recognition of his administration, and gain international validation for his presidency.
Frank’s statement reads, “It is evident to perceptive observers that Tinubu is contemplating a scenario that might precipitate war in Niger.
This, in turn, could furnish him with the pretext to impose a state of emergency within Nigeria, thus halting the ongoing sessions of the Presidential Election tribunal.”
“He appears to be less concerned about fostering democracy in Niger Republic, and more preoccupied with using this situation to legitimise his own government and secure validation from Western allies.
The citizens of Niger should be permitted to address their internal issues, as Nigeria is already grappling with its own set of challenges,” Frank said.
Frank is also critical of the ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments for failing to fortify democratic practices in the region by ensuring sound governance.
He highlighted their tendency to remain silent when presidents unlawfully appropriate electoral mandates and manipulate constitutional provisions to prolong their tenures in office.
“It is a shame that ECOWAS’ Presidents always jerks back to life when a fellow president has been dethroned like the present scenario in Niger Republic,” he said.
He added: “I condemn the coup in Niger and I will support all altruistic efforts to restore democratic governance in that country.
But I reject moves by Tinubu to use the Niger coup as a ruse to overturn the ongoing court process meant to determine the actual winner of the February 25th, 2023 Presidential election.
“I call on well meaning Nigerians to dissuade Tinubu from leading the country into an unnecessary war which among others will inflict heavy casualty on our armed forces and breed more widows in addition to what Boko Haram, bandits and other criminal elements have done already,” he said.
According to Frank, former President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army general, refrained from military intervention during coups in Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Mali, fully cognizant of the far-reaching ramifications.
Frank then wondered why Tinubu is so vehemently pursuing a path to war “if not for the preservation of his hold on the presidential office.”