2023 Presidency: Decision Will Be Made Known Soon, Says Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Wike says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers state will make known soon its choice for the upcoming 2023 presidential election.

The governor made this known on Tuesday when he commissioned the Rukpokwu-Igwuruta Link Road in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

Wike urged the people of the state to vote in the candidates of the PDP for the governorship, National Assembly and state House of Assembly seats.

He, however, told the people that the decision on the candidate the state will support for February 25, 2023, presidential election will be made known after deliberations.

“Will you vote our governor? Will you vote for our Senatorial candidate? Will you vote for House of Representatives candidates? Will you vote House of Assembly candidate?” Wike asked a large number of supporters who chanted “Yes”.

“Then the other one, I will come and tell you where you will vote. All I will tell you, is don’t worry, calm down, these ones that I mentioned, make sure you vote them. Very soon, we will meet and take a decision on where we are going,” he added.

Wike, a PDP governor, not on good terms with his party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had promised logistics support for the campaigns of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso who recently commissioned projects in Rivers.

Last week, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and an ally of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu told Wike that the former Lagos governor does not need logistics support but the votes of the people of Rivers.

READ ALSO: Taraba Gov Aspirants Accuse APC Leadership Of Foisting Bwacha As Candidate

With the 2023 presidential poll about three months, there are fears that the intra-party squabbles between Wike and Atiku over the chairmanship of Iyorchia Ayu would affect the chances of the Adamawa-born politician at the polls next February.

Wike and four other PDP governors known as the G5 or the Integrity Group want Benue-born Ayu to step down for a southerner over what they called the dominance of the north within the party.

While Wike and his allies have not campaigned for Atiku, it is not clear whether they will support any of the other frontline candidates including Obi, Kwankwaso or Tinubu.

Kano Govt Approves Completion Of Kwankwaso Road, Other Projects

In this file photo, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today which aired on February 12, 2021.

 

The Kano State Executive Council has adopted the review of rates for the rehabilitation of Kwanar Kwankwaso-Kwankwaso Road in Madobi local government with an augmentation of the sum of N97, 826, 831.82 million.

The contract for the project was awarded in March this year at the sum of N372, 268, 632.03 million with an advance payment of N154, 491, 457.43 million and works have reached 50 percent progress.

The state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, who disclosed this during a media briefing after the council meeting held at the Council Chambers, Government House, Kano, said that the review was attributed to the incessant increase in the prices of construction materials.

He said the increase brings the revised contract sum to the tune of N470, 095, 463.85 million.

Malam Garba also announced that the Council has approved the release of N40, 373, 130.00 million for the rehabilitation of 10 dilapidated solar-powered boreholes and VIP latrines in 10 rural markets across the state.

The Commissioner recalled that the state government through the Ministry for Rural and Community Development had constructed VIP latrines that use solar power to operate the boreholes in 74 rural markets across the state since 2012.

He stated that the state COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (KANO CARES) is rehabilitating 23 out of the existing 74 under its Rural Wet Market programme.

Malam Garba also revealed the Council’s adoption of approval for the revised estimated total cost for the construction of Muhammadu Buhari Interchange at NNPC Mega Station Rotary Intersection, Hotro, Maiduguri Road in the metropolis.

The Commissioner also recalled that the contract for the project was awarded in March this year at the sum of N8, 980, 303, 460.63 billion, with an advance payment of N4, 151, 730. 32 billion.

He said the project has reached 97 percent progress as the major components of the project that included the underpass, overpass, and flyover have been completed, with the underpass and overpass opened for traffic.

Malam Garba further said that in view of the prevailing circumstances and approval for the execution of additional works on the provision of streetlights, and fencing, provision of sand dust, artificial grassing under the flyover, provision of permanent CCTV cameras, service ducts and tower, the contract had to be reviewed upward to the tune of N9, 231, 117, 259.06 billion.

The Commissioner revealed that the Council has also approved a request for the extension of college premises in respect of the state College of Health, Science and Technology (School of Hygiene) in accordance with the recommendation by the National Board for Technical Education to give space for the accommodation of the college’s partially accredited programmes.

He said the Council approved the allocation of the former section ‘B’ of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) building located opposite Sabuwar Kofa, behind the current office accommodation of the state Science and Technical Schools Board to serve as an extension to the college.

The Council, he added, has also granted the request for the release of 55 officers from various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to undergo overseas training on salary options and have secured admissions from various donor agencies including TET-FUND and were duly recommended by the respective Ministerial Training Committee (MTC) in line with the approved training guidelines.

Malam Garba said approval has also been given by the Council for the payment of arrears of hazard allowances to the non-academic staff of Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano amounting to N24, 835, 000.00 million covering January-May, 2019.

The Commissioner stated that the council has approved the implementation of salaries migration of 2, 207 staff redeployed to the state payroll with a cost implication of N199, 582, 888.11 million.

He said the staff is drawn from local governments, SUBEB, and other Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), and were deployed to secondary and tertiary institutions in the state.

Malam Garba explained that 451 of the staff were from the state payroll whose salaries would increase in the monthly state wage bill by N19, 162, 490.55 million due to migration from one salary scale to another, while 1, 756 staff whose salaries are not in the state payroll would increase it by N180, 420, 398.56 million monthly.

The Commissioner further announced that the Council has approved the State and Local Government Revenue Administration (Codification and Consolidation) Amendment Bill 2022 and transmission to the state House of Assembly for passage into law.

I Won’t Lose Kano, Katsina, Four Northern States, Tinubu Hopeful Of Bloc Votes

L-R: Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; with his running mate, Kashim Shettima at a rally in Lagos State on Saturday, November 26, 2022

 

Amid permutations ahead of the 2023 general elections, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu is banking on his alliance with some outgoing northern governors to get votes in the region.

At the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos State on Saturday during a rally, Tinubu boasted that his alliance with the governors of Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara, and Plateau will deliver for him the bulk of the votes he needs to outsmart his main opponents including Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

Tinubu’s statement comes five months after about 10 northern governors backed his candidacy at a keenly contested primary in June.

“Can you see the governors of Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara, and Plateau?” Tinubu asked a crowd of APC supporters decked up in party paraphernalia on Saturday.

“We won’t lose any of the states. We will govern this country together. They are here in Lagos to show their support for me,” he added in Yoruba.

 

 

The governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007 also urged the party’s supporters to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and vote for him at the February polls.

In attendance at the rally include APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat; amongst other APC stalwarts.

READ ALSO: I Constructed Road To Your House, Wike Slams Amaechi

Quest For Northern Votes

Historically, since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, the northern region of the country had the highest voter turnout at presidential elections and the top contenders for Aso Rock’s top job in 2023 have since pitched their tents to win over most of the 19 states in the region.

 

Obi, Tinubu, Atiku and Kwankwaso

 

For instance, Kano had over 1.8 million cumulative votes – the highest by any state in the 2019 presidential election. The state has witnessed some of the highest defections amongst PDP, NNPP and APC of late. Kano is home to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, a Tinubu ally; Ibrahim Shekarau, an Atiku supporter; as well as Kwankwaso, who relies on his base and socio-political movement, Kwankwasiyya to get votes in the north.

Also during the 2019 presidential election, Kastina and Kaduna polled 1.5 million separate votes, Plateau with over 1 million votes, Kebbi with a total of 650,000 votes, and Kwara with a paltry over 400,000 total votes – all mainly shared between the APC’s Muhammadu Buhari and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar. Other states with heavy numerical voter strength based on past elections include Jigawa, and Bauchi, amongst others.

At the last election, Kastina-born Buhari won 19 states, many of which were northern APC states while Adamawa-born Atiku won 18 states – with a total of 15 million to 11 million votes respectively.

According to Section 34 of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, a presidential candidate can only be announced as the winner if he or she “has the majority of votes cast at the election; and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.” This means that a candidate must get 25% of votes in 24 states across the Federation to win a presidential election.

At the moment, APC controls 21 states with the exclusion of Osun which will become a PDP state on Sunday, November 27, 2022, when Ademola Adeleke is sworn in. Similarly, PDP controls 13 states as of press time while the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) controls Anambra State.

However, Tinubu is confronted with a major hurdle due to his choice of Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno State, and fellow Muslim as running mate, a development that has been rejected by Christian groups and leaders.

Also, there are fears that the intra-party squabbles between the G5 led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Atiku over the chairmanship of Iyorchia Ayu would affect the chances of the PDP presidential candidate at the polls next February. A former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole recently said the neutrality of the G5 is good for Tinubu’s chances.

On the other hand, Tinubu faces a new challenger in the game – Obi – a new bride and darling of many Nigerian youths who are tired of the two dominant parties – the PDP and the APC.

Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, have vowed to push out the APC from Aso Rock. “Whoever thinks that Labour Party or Obi-dient movement or Peter Obi as an individual is not being welcomed in the north, they are making a huge mistake,” Baba-Ahmed had said.

Although at least three polls have put Obi ahead of other candidates, only time will unveil the winner of the February 25, 2023, presidential election.

2023: Nigerians Should Vote Wisely, Says Idahosa

 

Vice Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Isaac Idahosa has asked Nigerians to vote wisely when the elections get underway in 2023. 

Idahosa made this call on Wednesday while addressing a gathering in Minna, Niger State.

There, Idahosa asserted that both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  have failed Nigerians, stressing that the only alternative to save the country from the current crisis, is to vote the NNPP.

He told party faithful and other persons present that the NNPP’s presidential flagbearer Musa Kwankwaso is a detribalized Nigerian, selfless, sensitive leader and trust worthy individual that has the country at heart.


READ ALSO: Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes


According to Idahosa these are the qualities that made him accept the offer to be a running mate to Kwankwaso.

Idahosa stressed that the signing of the peace accord is a gentlemen agreement which must be respected as to ensure peaceful polls, noting that elections most not be a do or die affair borne out of desperation.

He lamented over the current high debt profile of over N42 trillion the country is owing, a debt which he fears that the unborn children will be made to pay.

Idahosa pledged that if elected the NNPP will employed about one million military, police and other security personnel as well offer free WAEC, NECO and NAPTEP examinations in the country.

Speaking at the same event, the Niger State NNPP governorship candidate, Ibrahim Sokodeke said Nigerians are wiser now and are more informed to make better choices.

Sokodeke said he on his part, is poised to change the narrative of civil service in the state, adding that he will industrialize Niger Sate in a bid to better the lives of his people.

He, however, urged the citizens to collect their PVCs which are still laying at the INEC offices, noting that this will enable them vote massively for the NNPP in 2023.

Asides party faithful, those present at the forum included members of the God First Mission Church, members of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and some members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Tinubu Needs Rivers Votes, Not Logistics Support, Umahi Woos Wike

L-R: Governor Nyesom Wike and Governor Dave Umahi in Port Harcourt on Monday, November 21, 2022. Credit: Facebook/Rivers State Government

 

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State says the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, does not need the logistics support of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

Umahi said rather, Tinubu needs the votes of the people of the oil-rich state.

Umahi, an APC governor and one of the coordinators of Tinubu’s campaign in the South-East, made this known on Tuesday when he commissioned the Akpabu-Itu-Umudiogha road in the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers at the invitation of Wike.

“You are a doer of promise,” Umahi told Wike. “When you say you will give logistics support, you will but in APC, we don’t need logistics support, we need votes, just for the presidential one only, please.

“All I am asking is that presidential one, that presidential one keep it for Asiwaju (Tinubu) and Asiwaju will be coming here to solicit votes.”

Wike, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor, not on good terms with his party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had promised logistics support for the campaigns of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso who recently commissioned projects in Rivers.

READ ALSO: Atiku Rejected Jonathan’s Pleas In 2015, Refused To Support Him – Wike

With the 2023 presidential poll about three months, there are fears that the intra-party squabbles between Wike and Atiku over the chairmanship of Iyorchia Ayu would affect the chances of the Adamawa-born politician at the polls next February.

Wike and four other PDP governors known as the G5 or the Integrity Group want Benue-born Ayu to step down for a southerner over what they called the dominance of the north within the party.

PHOTOS: Wike, Umahi Reunite To Commission Rivers Project

L-R: Governor Nyesom Wike and Governor Dave Umahi in Port Harcourt on Monday, November 21, 2022. Credit: Facebook/Rivers State Government

 

For the fourth time in six months, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State on Monday visited his Rivers State counterpart, Governor Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Wike and Umahi were former allies within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the latter’s move to the All Progressives Congress (APC). The two engaged in a war of words following the defection of the Ebonyi State governor to the APC.

However, the former foes may have perfectly sealed their reconciliation as Umahi, for the fourth time within six months, on Monday, visited Wike. He previously visited the Rivers governor in June, August and in October 2022.

 

 

 

While their previous meetings had been held behind closed doors, Umahi is in Rivers this time around to commission the Akpabu-Itu-Umudiogha road in the Emohua Local Government Area on Tuesday.

He was warmly received by Wike at his private residence in Port Harcourt.

Wike, a PDP strongman, Wike had invited politicians from opposition parties to commission projects in the oil-rich South-South state. The Rivers governor had said he invited opposition politicians to commission projects in his state for them to see firsthand and tell their party men.

 

 

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso recently commissioned projects in Rivers. Also, former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; and President Muhammadu Buhari have also inaugurated Wike’s projects in Rivers.

READ ALSO: Any Party That Can’t Control Kano, Rivers, Lagos Is Out, Kwankwaso Slams Atiku

Wike and Umahi have a long history as political associates before the Ebonyi governor dumped the PDP in November 2020 for the APC. He would later contest the APC presidential primary mid-2022 but lost to former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.

 

 

Also, Wike, who contested the PDP presidential primary in May, lost to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Since their losses, the two governors seemed to have embraced reconciliation.

 

 

Wike and four other PDP governors (Oyo, Enugu, Abia and Benue) known as the G5 or the Integrity Group have for months demanded the removal of PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu as a precondition to support Atiku.

While he has not campaigned for Atiku, Wike recently pledged logistics support for Kwankwaso and Obi.

Wike Welcomes Oshiomhole To Rivers Ahead Of Project Inauguration

Governor Nyesom Wike welcomes ex-APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole to Rivers State on Tuesday, November 15, 2022

 

Former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole on Tuesday night arrived Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on the invitation of Governor Nyesom Wike to commission a flyover project.

The flyover to be commissioned today is the number eight to be completed by the Wike administration.

 

 

The project is located on Ada George road, adjacent the private residence of Wike in his country home of Rumueprikom in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area.

Oshiomhole, a former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) arrived in Port Harcourt on Tuesday night and was received by Wike; his deputy, Ipalibo Harry-Banigo and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders in the state.

 

 

READ ALSO: Wike Invites Buhari, Oshiomhole, Obi To Inaugurate Rivers Projects

Oshiomhole of the APC is one of the guests, especially from opposition political parties invited by Wike of the PDP to inaugurate projects for two weeks in Rivers State.

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi is also scheduled to commission the 9th flyover at the popular Ikoku junction, an Igbo dominated trade zone for Automobile Spare Sparta.

Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari is invited to commission the Port Harcourt Campus of the Nigeria Law School on Friday.

On Monday, November 21, the Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso is expected to commission yet another project.

Tinubu’s Hectic Campaign Schedule Won’t Let Him Attend Debates – Keyamo

File photo of Bola Tinubu. Twitter: @BATKSM2023

 

One of the spokespersons for Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo has said that the hectic campaign schedule of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu won’t permit him to attend debates.

Keyamo, in a statement made available to Channels Television, said Tinubu did not attend a presidential debate on Sunday because he has received a lot of invitations by television and radio stations and he won’t want to be unfair to any of the broadcast houses.

Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were absent at the debate on Sunday attended by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and Kola Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP)

Although Delta State Governor and PDP vice-presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa represented Atiku, Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima were absent.

READ ALSO: Obi Won’t Attend Debates Where Tinubu, Atiku Are Absent – Okupe

In his statement after the debate, Keyamo, who is also the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, explained that “many radio and TV networks in Nigeria have indicated interests to host such debates and out of deference to other TV and radio stations, our candidate will not be making selective appearances in some networks, whilst ignoring others”.

“Secondly, the busy and hectic campaign schedules of Asiwaju Tinubu will not permit him to honour all such invitations by different radio and TV networks, hence our decision for him not to start with one TV station and later ignore others,” he added.

Keyamo also said before now realised the importance of speaking directly to Nigerians and has embarked on Town Hall meetings beginning with his interaction with the business community and other stakeholders in Kano and Lagos.

“Nigerians will hear from our candidate loud and clear through other forums,” he noted.

Obi Won’t Attend Debates Where Tinubu, Atiku Are Absent – Okupe

Obi, Tinubu, Atiku and Kwankwaso

 

The Director General of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation, Doyin Okupe says the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi will no longer show up for debates if his counterparts in other parties do not show up.

Okupe made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

Okupe also said Obi will no longer debate with surrogates or running mates and will back out of any debate even at the last minute should other presidential candidates fail to show up.

Obi is in the race for Aso Rock’s top job alongside frontline presidential candidates like Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party.

Obi; Kwankwaso; and Kola Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) were present at a debate on Sunday. Though Delta State Governor and PDP vice-presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa represented Atiku, Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima were absent.

 

Labour Party Still In Talks With Kwankwaso, Others For Alliance – Okupe

A photo combination of Rabiu Kwankwaso and Peter Obi.

 

The Director General of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council Doyin Okupe says the party is still in talks with the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso and others with a view to forming an alliance. 

Earlier in the year, there were reports that Kwankwaso and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi were in talks for a possible alliance. The move, did not, however, materialise.

But Okupe said despite that, the LP is still looking to form an alliance with Kwankwaso and other parties.

“As a party, at our own campaign level, we are talking to SDP; we are talking to even Kwankwaso and his team again. We are talking to PRP and ADC,” he said on Channels Television’s Hard Copy, a prerecorded show aired on Friday.

“I believe and I trust that God will help us that between now and December, we would bring together that alignment politically in the country and the country would be better for it.”

READ ALSO: APC Presidential Campaign Council Releases 2023 Campaign Calendar

‘Carrying Everybody Along’

According to him, the move is to ensure that “whoever wins is not just winning on a sole effort; we are winning with the cooperation of many of as many groups as possible”.

He also dismissed criticisms over Obi’s visits to some power brokers in the country, saying it was meant solely for “carrying everybody along” in the scheme of things.

“Somebody won an election in this country, he did not rule. He was loved by Nigerians but some stakeholders stopped that. We have to avoid that by carrying everybody along, “Okupe added.

“Even if they don’t agree with us initially, let them not oppose us;  let them not see us as enemies. We are not enemies of anybody, a group, or any part of the country. We are just a sect of people who mean well for the country…”

Nigerians Need To Scrutinise All Presidential Candidates – Northern Elders 

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has called on Nigerians to question presidential candidates on how they intend to tackle the country’s challenges if elected. 

This is according to the spokesman of NEF Baba Hakeem-Ahmed who featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics. 

“Nigerians need to press our candidates. We desperately need to find out who among these people should be trusted,” he said during the show.

While the major contenders including Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) are vastly experienced, he said they should show Nigerians a roadmap to combat the country’s major issues.

READ ALSO: [2023] Ex-Afenifere Leader Fasoranti Prays For Tinubu

‘Hugely-Experienced People’ 

A photo combination showing Obi, Tinubu, Atiku and Kwankwaso

 

“These are all hugely-experienced people in terms of managing people. These are also people with enough money to get to at least a point where they are now candidates. Their personalities should be scrutinised,” the NEF spokesman maintained.

He said the recent town hall meeting the group organised was to give the candidates a platform to tell the northern region and Nigerians what they have in store if elected in the 2023 poll.

This kind of conversation, he said, should be emulated by other regions so that Nigerians will be well-equipped to make the right choices come next year.

“If it can be replicated in other ways, it should be done. You need to press these candidates to be more specific in what they want to do,” he said, maintaining that the contenders should be “challenged”.

The NEF, he said, will go through the manifestoes of the contenders to give the body greater insight into their capacities.

With Nigeria’s economy flagging, oil production at historic lows, and insecurity a major issue, the next president faces a host of urgent problems. The candidates have four months to sell themselves to the nation. A total of 18 presidential hopefuls are running, including one woman.

2023: SERAP Asks Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, Others To Publish Sources Of Campaign Funding

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to presidential candidates ahead of the February 2023 presidential election, urging them to demonstrate leadership by directing their “campaign councils and political parties to regularly and widely publish the sources of their campaign funding.”

SERAP said: “We are concerned about the vulnerability of political parties to corruption. Disproportionally large donations seeking specific outcomes or preferential treatment can subvert the wider public interest.”

In the open letter dated 29 October, 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Transparency would help to control inappropriate influence on political candidates, ensure fairness, equality, and accountability in Nigeria’s democracy.”

SERAP also said, “Transparency in campaign funding would improve public trust in Nigeria’s politicians and political parties, and show your commitment to prevent and combat corruption if elected.”


READ ALSO: Sokoto Village Head, 10 Others Arrested Over 991,320 Opioid Pills, 1,251kg Skunk


According to SERAP, “If Nigerians know where the money is coming from, they can scrutinise the details, and hold to account the candidate and party that receive it.”

The letter, read in part: “SERAP would consider appropriate legal actions to hold you and your political party to account for any infractions of the requirements of campaign funding, as provided for by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Electoral Act and international standards, even after the 2023 elections.”

“SERAP urges you to sign ‘transparency pacts’ that would mandate you to disclose the identities of donors and widely publish donations and contributions including on your party website and social media platforms.”

“Party corruption undermines the legitimacy of government, public trust and, ultimately, democracy.”

“Opacity in campaign funding can distort the electoral competition and lead to state capture by wealthy politicians and individuals, and encourage politicians to divert public resources for political purposes.”

“Transparency in campaign funding would ensure fair and open elections, and address concerns about undue influence by the more economically advantaged and privileged individuals, as well as prevent corruption of the electoral process.”

“Political parties provide the necessary link between voters and government. No other context is as important to democracy than elections to public office. Nigerians therefore must be informed about the sources of campaign funding of those who seek their votes.”

“SERAP also urges you to urgently invite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor campaign funding and expenditures by your political party.”

“The UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party obligates states parties to enhance transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and, where applicable, the funding of political parties.”

“Similarly, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption which Nigeria has also ratified requires states parties to incorporate the principle of transparency into funding of political parties.”

“Sections 225 and 226 of the Nigerian Constitution and Sections 86, 87 and 90 the Electoral Act 2022 demonstrate the importance of transparency and accountability in party and campaign finances, and why political parties must be proactive in disclosing the sources of their donations and contributions, and how they spend the funds they receive.”

“Please let us know if you and your political party are willing to commit to the issues outlined in this letter.”

Presidential candidates for Nigeria’s general elections in 2023 include: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP); Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of All Progressive Congress (APC); Mr Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP); Mr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); and Professor Peter Umeadi of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

Others include: Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim of Young Progressive Party (YPP); Omoyele Sowore of Africa Action Congress (AAC); Prince Adewole Adebayo of Social Democratic Party (SDP); Mr Kola Abiola of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP); Professor Christopher Imumulen of Accord Party (AP); Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress (ADC); and Yusuf Mamman Dan Talle of Allied Peoples Movement (APM).