*Says He Won’t Appear Before ‘Kangaroo’ Committee –
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has advised the National Chairman of the party, John Oyegun to stop running the party like a ministry.
His statement comes few days after Oyegun set up a five-man disciplinary committee on Wednesday to investigate a petition purportedly written against Timi Frank by a member of the party from Akwa Ibom State, alleging anti-party activities.
Frank had said that if the crisis within the party is not resolved soon, there will be no APC in 2019.
Frank, however said he would not be appearing before any “kangaroo” panel of enquiry set up by the party, which he said lacks locus standi to investigate him.
He further warned that if he is suspended, he will become a bigger opposition to the APC.
He said, “I want to remind Oyegun not to run the party as a ministry. This is not the time when he worked as a permanent secretary. This is a political party. He cannot hire and fire at will. Why is it only my office that they want to appoint an acting spokesman?
“I am not aware of any committee until now; and I have not been served with any letter. If that is true, I am waiting to receive a letter from such committee. I don’t know who set up that committee. I don’t know whether it is a committee approved by the party structure or appointed by the National Chairman.
“With the names I saw in that committee, I can tell you that these are not known names to the party; and I don’t know the petitioner. How can you petition somebody you don’t know? This is to let you know that he is working for his sponsors. It is very clear that this is the handiwork of my national chairman.
“That does not mean that I don’t respect the process of the party. I will only appear before a committee that will be constituted by respected party members; because such a committee will enable me lay my complaints about the party. And I believe it will do what is right and take my complaints to the next level. But how can I appear before a committee that will take its report to Oyegun to decide my fate?”
“If by tomorrow the committee says they invited me and I refuse to appear, and so they found me guilty, I am ready to face the battle. I will also do everything possible to defend my position as Acting Publicity Secretary of this party.
Frank added that he’s aware of the plan to appoint former minister of Sport, Bolaji Abdullahi, as the substantive National Publicity Secretary of the party, saying that will not be possible except the party follows due process.
“Rumours had been going round that they want to appoint an Acting Publicity Secretary for the party. That is a welcome development; but the party should follow due process. It is only the National Convention that can confirm anybody. You cannot go and appoint a publicity secretary when you have a deputy publicity secretary.
“My fight is a struggle to save democracy; and I will continue to stand by that, because Nigeria belongs to all of us. I want to remind Oyegun not to run the party like a Ministry. This is not the days when he was a Permanent Secretary. Oyegun is the national chairman of a political party and so, he should handle that position discreetly and not like a ministry. You need strong will to lead as a party leader.
“We should not commit the same mistake made by the ANC in South Africa. When Julius Malema of South Africa was fighting the same cause I am fighting today in my party, they never believe what he was saying and suspended him. I am saying that my party should be careful because I have the same capacity that Malema had to do what he did in South Africa.
“I don’t want my party to regret tomorrow if they suspend me and find out that I become a bigger opposition to the party I supported. If I am crying that there is impunity and injustice in the party, they should be able to listen to my cry and see how they can address what I am saying, instead of making kangaroo plans to suspend me.
“That will not stand, because I am going to challenge it. I don’t want us to find ourselves in the same scenario ANC found itself. I want us to learn from that mistake of the ANC. I want to beg party members to see where I am coming from, because this is not a personal fight.”