APC said this after reading Frank’s scorching criticism of the Muhammadu Buhari administration and the party as failing to provide Nigerians with the change it promised.
Among many other accusations in an open letter he released earlier on Sunday, Frank had said Buhari “replaced rule of law with rule of force”, making life “worthless” for Nigerians while failing to address killings and rampant corruption under his watch.
‘This Is Not The Change We Clamoured For’ — APC Chieftain Attacks Buhari, Apologises To Jonathan
“I would first of all like to use this opportunity to formally apologise to the immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for all the tantrums and mistreatment orchestrated by me against his person while he held sway at the helm of affairs of our great country,” read a part of his letter.
“Indeed, I and many others may have misunderstood Jonathan’s silence for weakness and thus pushed harder to malign his person and portray him as a weak leader.
“Having achieved the change agenda, it is now crystal clear, that the change we had clamoured for is not the change we got. Under your [Buhari’s] tenure the rule of law has been replaced with the rule of force. You have injected fear into the society. People who voted for you to save them from corruption and ineptitude have been barred from speaking up against the myriads of evil and wicked acts being perpetrated by officials in your government.
“Unfortunately, corruption is in the upward swing under your watch. This is why I had to apologize to Jonathan since events of the last three years have shown the former president was a better leader. People freely expressed themselves under Jonathan’s administration without fear of being branded cultists’ sponsors, gunrunners or aiding murderers. But not so under this administration.
“Under Jonathan, Nigerians enjoyed freedom of speech, association and right to hold dissenting views including organising and partaking in protests against unwelcome government policies. All these are no go areas today. Does it mean Jonathan was a better democrat? It is a fact that no member of the APC which was then in the opposition before 2015 was jailed or harassed for expressing dissent.”
However, responding in a brief statement on Sunday evening, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, said Frank had long ceased to be an important member of the party.
“Our attention has been drawn to a report on the online newspaper, thecable.ng in which one Timi Frank was addressed as a ‘Chieftain’ of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” Abdullahi said.
“We wish to correct the wrong designation and remind the newspaper and indeed the general public that Timi Frank has since November 2016 been suspended as a member of the APC following a recommendation of an APC disciplinary committee and subsequent ratification by the Party’s South South Zonal Executive Committee.
“Hence, whatever position Timi Frank holds or canvasses is done in his personal capacity and has no bearing on the APC.”