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Publish sources of your campaign funding, SERAP tells Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, others

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The 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.”

The organization said it was concerned about the vulnerability of political parties to corruption, adding that 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.

“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.”

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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 as elections to public office. Nigerians therefore must be informed about the sources of campaign funding of those who seek their votes.

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“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 the funding of political parties.

“Sections 225 and 226 of the Nigerian Constitution and Sections 86, 87 and 90 of 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.

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“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 the ruling All Progressives 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 Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Others include Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim of the Young Progressives 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).

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I will end your misery, Tinubu assures Bayelsa people

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The standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2023 presidential election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has promised to end the misery of Bayelsa people if he is elected into office in 2023 by ensuring that the state regains its lost glory and compete favourably with others across the country.

Tinubu said this while speaking at the party’s presidential rally on Thursday at Oxbow Lake Pavilion Swalli in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.

He accused those who have governed the state in the times past of stealing away the future of her citizens while under-developing them.

The presidential candidate noted that Bayelsa holds an important position in Nigeria, being one of the major suppliers of the nation’s wealth in addition to its notable individuals.

Tinubu said: “This state is home to proud and vibrant people. Although this is a small land mass, Bayelsa has been blessed with abundant human and natural resources.

“With that blessing, your state has been asked to carry a great and long national duty. You all have given so much to the development of this nation. Nigeria would not be Nigeria without your human and material contribution.

“On behalf of the entire nation, may I say thank you Bayelsa for all that you have done for Nigeria.

“You have played a critical and leading role in the development of our national economy.

“Now, I am a man of fair play. I believe a person, a state and even a nation should be repaid for the good and positive things they have done.

“It is high time that Bayelsa is duly acknowledged for its role in national development and even more fairly paid back in kind for that positive role.

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“The entire world knows that Bayelsa is rich in oil and is among Nigeria’s largest producing states. The revenue from these things have been the backbone of government income and foreign exchange earnings.

“But what the world often forgets is that Bayelsa is more than just pipelines and oil installations. It is a community of decent and good people, proud of the culture and traditions, yet hopeful of what the future holds.

“You are fishermen and boat operators of great skill and reputation. You are farmers, businessmen, market woman, teachers, students and professionals in all fields.

“To be frank, those who have governed the state have not done as they should. In fiscal rankings of all the States, Bayelsa ranked 36th in 2020 and 2021. You have been sold short by those not interested in your welfare,” Tinubu said.

The former Governor of Lagos State promised that the misery of Bayelsa people will end with his administration because he will focus to ensure that the state regains its lost glory and compete favourably with others across the country.

“If you vote for me and my team, that unfair day will surely end. Today, I am here to tell you that renewed hope is also here. I am not here to steal or eat your future but to help you realise it. Development and opportunity are here. Education is here. Good health is here. Security is here.

“We will reconstruct and maintain vital federal roadways such as the Mbiama-Yenegoa-Nembe-Brass highway. We will work with willing and capable private sector partners to build a comprehensive network of swamp bridges that connect swamp settlements with upland areas and the wider world.

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“My government will make the safety and security of the people of this state its highest priority. We will take the necessary measures to address security challenges in the waterways by winning the fight against kidnapping, oil theft and piracy in the Niger Delta region.

“No innocent person should have to live in fear simply because they work hard and earn a little money. You should be able to enjoy our life and labour as you wish. No one has the right to steal that from you.

“We will deploy new technologies to protect the safety and security of law-abiding Bayelsans as well as the critical infrastructure in the state.

The effects of environmental degradation and oil spillage will not be ignored,” Tinubu said.

He again used the occasion to list his plans for the entire country from the beginning of his administration in May 2023.

“My vision is for Nigeria and Bayelsa are the same — to be a peaceful, prosperous and compassionate society.

“My government will focus on developing the young people of this country because they represent the future. And the future is today.

“We will establish new skills development and capacity building programs. Industrial hubs and dry ports will focus investment on labour intensive manufacturing.

“We will innovate and use modern technology to create jobs and provide first generation goods and services. Our goal is to expand our industrial base such that Nigeria becomes a global leader.”

The former Lagos State governor also praised former President Goodluck Jonathan, an indigine of Bayelsa for allowing for the smooth transition of power in 2015 after he lost the presidential election and his efforts to foster peace and democracy in West Africa.

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Minister of State for Petroleum Sylva said Tinubu is a friend of the Niger Delta people and “the only serious candidate in the presidential race.”

On arrival in Yenagoa, Tinubu and his entourage first paid a courtesy call on the Ibenanaowei of Ikpetiama Kingdom and Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in the state, HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo Agada 1V.

The traditional ruler reeled out a lot of demands his people would love Tinubu to meet if elected including the construction of major roads linking the state capital, revamping of Peeremabiri Rice Farm, of Aggeii Deep Sea Port and Brass LNG.

The APC presidential candidate promised to work to uplift the state as a major oil producer.

But he told the royal fathers present at the palace to urge their people to try voting APC for a difference in the state, while alluding to a Yoruba proverb that literally translates: “a woman that has not experienced a second husband will not know the difference between the two.”

Tinubu was accompanied to the rally by House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Presidential Running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, Deputy National Chairman, South, Barrister Emma Enekwu representing the party’s National Chairman, Director-General of the Tinubu/Shettima campaigns and Plateau State Governor, Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, and former governor of the state and Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timiprey Sylva.

Others at the rally were the former governor of Edo State and Deputy Director-General of the campaign, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, Mr. David Lyon, members of the party’s National Working Committee and National Assembly members.

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2023: Tinubu to speak on manifesto at Chatham House December 5

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Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), will speak on his agenda for Nigeria at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House, on December 5.

Tinubu, according to Chatham House, will, during the occasion, have the opportunity to “discuss his vision and recently unveiled a manifesto for ‘renewing hope’ in Nigeria, including his policy proposals for economic reform and revival, and how to deliver secure and inclusive job opportunities for Nigerian citizens.”

Though it’s not yet clear who among the remaining presidential candidates will, next, get an invitation to come and speak on their agenda for the country, Chatham House said in a statement that hosting Tinubu is “part of a series examining Nigeria’s 2023 elections and political developments, including with a cross-section of political figures, presidential candidates and policymakers.”

Tinubu, who has been the subject of various speculations about his health, just like President Muhammadu Buhari was in 2015 when he was the APC presidential candidate, will, probably, be hoping that history is on his side.

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Buhari spoke on his manifesto at the same Chatham House, ahead of the election that brought him to power in his first tenure.

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Use your voter’s cards to retire Atiku permanently, Tinubu tells Lagos crowd

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The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has urged voters to retire his Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) counterpart Atiku Abubakar permanently in 2023.

Tinubu made the call on Saturday in Lagos at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere venue of APC Presidential Campaign’s mega rally.

The former Lagos Governor, who spoke partly in Yoruba, took a swipe at Atiku, describing him as a veteran aspirant who should go home and rest.

“Atiku contested in SDP, he contested in PDP; he contested in ACN when we rescued him from Obasanjo. Now he is contesting again in PDP. He should go home and rest,” adding that Nigerians should never allow him and his party near the country’s commonwealth.

“Atiku has been running. Use your PVC to vote him and his party out. Use your votes to retire him permanently this time. We must never again allow the rapacious and visionless gang of Peoples Destroying People to come near our commonwealth again.
“They were in government for 16 years, they didn’t remember Badagry Expressway, they didn’t remember East-West Road, they didn’t remember 2nd Niger Bridge.”

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To underscore his support across the country, Tinubu noted Governors of Kano, Kastina, Kaduna, Kwara, Kebbi and other APC Governors were with him unlike his opponent who could not hold his party together.

The APC Presidential candidate said his party’s campaign is a broom revolution and invoking the spirit of his late mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, the Iyaloja-General, he followed up with a folksong, singing in Yoruba, “Dagunro o se je, Tinubu o se pa,” meaning literally that he can not be killed.

Tinubu said he would continue with progressive government where Nigerians will not be forgotten in education, healthcare and employment generation.

Tinubu thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the development of Nigeria and Lagos State.

“I specially thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the unprecedented Federal support and commitment to Lagos State. We have come a long way from Presidents whose sole obsession was to capture or conquer Lagos in do-or-die fashion, to a President who loves the state greatly and is keen to see it do very well.

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“Lagos has benefited tremendously in terms of infrastructure development, whether it is the Lagos-Ibadan Railway line, or the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonsoki Expressway, the revamped National Theatre, the new International Airport Terminal or the support that has made the Lekki Deep Sea Port possible and the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Plant, as well as the Red Line of the Lagos Metro, which is sharing part of the Federal corridor,” he said.

 

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