By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The embattled Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has said unless President Muhammadu Buhari intervenes in the crisis of confidence rocking the party, the situation could get worse.
He also repeated his caution that the ruling party rmight stand the risk of being unable to find its feet again and might loose the 2019 presidential election if the situation is not urgently arrested.
Frank who was last Friday slammed with suspension by his party following his persistent outbursts against the leadership style of the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the party was presently facing serious crisis which would soon blow open if steps are not taken to resolve issues.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the embattled deputy spokesman said the only way to save the party from looming implosion is for President Buhari to support the move to restructure the leadership of the party to allow those with capacity to mange its affairs to come on board.
“I still maintain that if this crisis is not urgently resolved, our success in 2019 will be endangered. I want to use this opportunity to call on the president to intervene in the crisis as his continued silence will not help the party. The president should step in to arrest the situation.
“The president should do well to ask the national chairman to resign just as one of the national leaders, Bola Tinubu, has demanded. The president can decide to appoint Oyegun as an ambassador where he would use his experience as a former career civil servant to do the job. As for leading the APC, Oyegun is not competent and cannot perform well,” he said.
Frank said the crime he committed against the Oyegun-led leadership was that he has continued to point out errors in the affairs of the party and the fact that it is degenerating into crisis.
“I have prepared a letter to the president on some of the misgivings in the party. The only reason we want to hijack this party as Oyegun alleged is to save it from collapse before 2019. If the party is left in the hands of Oyegun, then we should be ready to say bye-bye to APC in 2019. The same thing that happened to the PDP when Rotimi Amaechi was being persecuted and people didn’t say anything until the crisis escalated and almost consumed the party might happen to APC.
“Whether some people are trying to deny it, I will not and I will continue to speak the truth that there is crisis in the party. The only way we can solve the problem is for us to own up that there is crisis. I still maintain my grounds that the national chairman is not competent and I want to join the national leader of the party, Tinubu, to say that Oyegun should resign, and that he is a problem to the survival of the party,” he said.
On his suspension by the South-south zonal executive of APC, Frank said: “I want to make it very clear that I still remain a loyal member of the APC and that I have not been suspended and that I will continue to speak out against the injustice being perpetrated in the party. I still remain the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC. There is a desperate move by Oyegun to get rid of me so that they can appoint a acting spokesman who will be loyal to them and not the party.
“First of all, I am not a zonal officer of the party but a national officer. I made it known from that day that committee was set up that I was not going to appear before it. I want to say that it is only a committee set up by the NEC of the party that can sanction me.
“I want the party members and Nigerians to disregard anything to that effect. It is mere desperation act by the party chairman. I still remain the acting spokesman until the appropriate organ of the appoints a substantive officer.
“As it is now, I want to say that the attack on me is an attack against the young people in the party. I want say that my struggle is a struggle against suppression of the youths.”
Frank expressed support for the call for the restructuring of the party leadership as canvassed by the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, adding that APC has to be restructured and those who do not love the country should be made to leave.
He likened his travails to that of the leader of the Youth Wing of the Africa National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, Julius Malama, who has continued to torment President Jacob Zuma-led party since he was suspended in a controversial circumstances.