A Political Activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has urged the leadership of the African Union (AU) to immediately withdraw the African Union”s Anti-corruption Champion Award it conferred on President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.
The activist threatened to lead a protest in the next AU meeting in Addis Ababa if the said award is not withdrawn.
Frank in a statement on Monday in Abuja said the call become necessary in view of Buhari’s manifest lack of integrity, credibility and honour in administering the affairs of the country since May 2015.
He wondered why Buhari was selected for the continental award in the first place if not for high level compromise while other African leaders with solid integrity, untainted credibility and unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption like Paul Kagame of Rwanda and John Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania were not chosen instead.
He said that Kagame and Magufuli remain shining examples of integrity in the continent rather the pretentious integrity of Buhari.
The Bayelsa-born political activist insisted that Buhari is least deserving of the as all facets of the Nigerian nation has become infested with excruciating and growing corruption under the present regime.
He noted that corrupt has continued to spread through sensitive National institutions like the military, including the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Frank said: “Recall that the African Union (AU) at its 30th Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2018, presented to the President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), a continental award as the AFRICAN UNION’S ANTI-CORRUPTION CHAMPION.
“Further recall that the award among others was meant to spur leaders of the continent not just to fight corruption in their respective countries but to engage in impactful projects which were hitherto unfortunately hampered by corruption in the echelons of national governments across the continent.
“I sincerely believe that the choice of Buhari to receive the award was fueled by the regime’s propagandists and lobbyists whose only intention was to commit the AU to supporting a supposed anti-corruption crusade by Buhari in Nigeria.
“Let me inform you that the choice of Buhari for the Award was not only a misplaced venture but an unpardonable aberration as events back in Nigeria have since shown that rather than fight corruption in which basis he was elected in 2015, the regime has turned out to be an Enabler-In-Chief for wanton corruption.
“Be further informed that the propaganda anti-corruption edifice build around Buhari has since unraveled to reveal a cesspit of monumental corruption being perpetuated by officials of the regime against the people of Nigeria.
“The credentials of Buhari as a man without integrity and honour are well known both within Nigeria and the international arena. For instance, Nigeria has been on the downward slide in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published yearly by the Transparency International (TI) since Buhari took over the affairs of the country in May 2015 till date. The evidence for this is just a click away on any of the internet search engines.
“Besides a plethora of regime officials indicted for corruption in the country, TI’s annual reports from 2015 to 2019 and a recent letter by the Chairman, Finance Committee of the United States of America (USA) Senate, Mr. Charles Grassley, would bring to fore any evidence required by Your Excellency in this regard.
“In addition to the above, it is self evident that some top officials of the regime have since been sacked for corruption related atrocities – when the regime could no longer bear or cover up their financial improprieties – while many still exist that are sleaze personified.
“In view of the forgoing, the AU will be doing the continental organization of eminent and respected African leaders a great service by retracing your steps (which you were led into by error), redeem the global image of the
AU and strengthen its resolve to eliminate governmental corruption from the African continent, by relieving Buhari of the unmerited award.”
He called on the leadership of the AU not only to withdraw the award it wrongly bestowed on Buhari but to apologize to Africa for their poor and unwarranted action.
“However, note that if this award is not withdrawn from Buhari as soon as practicable, I will be left with no other option than to personally mobilize and lead a massive protest against the underserved award at the next summit of the AU in Addis Ababa,” Frank said.