Timi Frank Knocks Buhari's Independence Speech, Says It's Full of Half Truths – THISDAY Newspapers
By Udora Orizu
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence Speech to Nigerians as a message “filled with half-truths and blatant inaccuracies.”
Frank, who is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and Middle East, in a statement in Abuja lamented that Buhari chose to rewrite history by twisting facts which are already well known by Nigerians in order to further deceive the people.
He stressed that the country which had been on a steady growth and development since 1960, through the spirited efforts of successive administrations, did not only stall since 2015 upon Buhari’s ascension to power but has continued to retrogress irretrievably in all measurable economic, social and political indices.
The Bayelsa-born political activist said: “First Buhari praised the Armed Forces for their gallantry in curtailing the murderous activities of Boko Haram insurgents, Fulani herdsmen, bandits and other criminal elements, yet, this is the same military that have failed to stop incessant attacks on their formations, killing of its personnel and kidnapping of its Generals across the country.
“The attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy, killing of two officers and kidnap of Major Christopher Datong is a case in point. Thanks to Major Datong’s colleagues who secretly paid ransom to bandits to secure his release.
“The nation’s currency exchanged for about N180 to a dollar when Buhari took over power, but his administration created multiple foreign exchange rate windows through which dubious officials siphoned the nation’s treasury without repercussion. What is the exchange rate today? About N567 to a dollar at the parallel market and N410 at the official window!
“What was the price of fuel, cooking gas and electricity tariff when Buhari assumed office in 2015 and how much are Nigerians paying for these essential commodities today?
“Nigeria was the fastest growing economy in Africa following the rebasing of the nation’s economy under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Today, Nigeria is the Poverty Capital of the World. However, Buhari would want the world to believe that his regime has recorded appreciable economic revival in the country.
“Insurgency was largely confined to the Northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa when Buhari took over, but today farmers in Buhari’s home state of Katsina and Northwest states of Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, including Niger in the North Central pay taxes to bandits to be allowed access to their farms.
“Today most schools in the Northwest states have been shut down while telecommunication networks have been switched off in Zamfara, Kaduna and Sokoto states as a result of the activities of rampaging bandits and insurgents who have taken to kidnapping innocent school children for ransom. Yet Buhari praises his administration’s efforts at curtailing insecurity. In Southern Kaduna, killing of innocent villagers has continued unabated.”