SERAP writes Nigerian presidential candidates
A Nigerian non governmental organisation called the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has written to the 12 presidential aspirants contesting in the 2023 Elections to publicly declare their assets as a matter of urgency.
The open letter dated 11 June 2022 was signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
“The public office is a public trust. As such, the voters deserve to hear from presidential candidates regarding what they will do about issues of public interest, particularly with respect to integrity, selflessness, openness, accountability, human rights, and the rule of law if elected.” Oluwadare said.
In the letter which was made available to newsmen. SERAP gave reasons for demanding an asset declaration from the candidates, which was to avoid vote buying, voter suppression and intimidation. “As you and your parties prepare for presidential election campaigns, we hope that you will seize the opportunity to show your commitment to addressing these fundamental issues of public interest by immediately publishing details of your assets and rejecting vote buying, intimidation and harassment.” The SERAP statement read.
Challenging the presidential aspirants to declare their assets and prove “it will be no business as usual.” SERAP said the candidates should commit publicly, the resolve on issues revolving round corruption and human rights.
The economic and social rights organisation also brought up the problem of the “security votes” which has not been accountable for and transparent since 1999, including the N11 trillion electricity funds that was mismanaged.
“N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999. Many unimplemented reports of corruption in the electricity sector continue to gather dust on the shelves while suspected perpetrators continue to profit from their crimes. Socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector.” SERAP lamented.
The group noted that although there was no constitutional requirement to declare publicly assets it was good practice to do so to ensure transparency.
The letter went to 12 presidential aspirants namely; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar – Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu – All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Peter Obi – Labour Party (LP), Mr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso – New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Professor Peter Umeadi – All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim – Young Progressive Party (YPP), Omoyele Sowore – Africa Action Congress (AAC), Prince Adewole Adebayo – Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr Kola Abiola – Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Professor Christopher Imumulen – Accord Party (AP), Dumebi Kachikwu – African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Yusuf Mamman Dan Talle – Allied Peoples Movement (APM).