SERAP tasks Atiku, Tinubu, others on asset declarations, vote buying
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged 2023 presidential aspirants to, urgently, publish their assets and liabilities. It also wants them to publicly reject vote buying and bribery before and during the elections.
Those took to task include Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (All Progressives Congress (APC); Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP); Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Prof. Peter Umeadi, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Others are Young Progressive Party’s (YPP) Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim; Omoyele Sowore of Africa Action Congress (AAC); Prince Adewole Adebayo Social Democratic Party (SDP); Kola Abiola of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP); Prof. Christopher Imumulen of Accord Party (AP); Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Yusuf Mamman Dan Talle of Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
The group maintained that while there “is no constitutional requirement for presidential candidates to publish their assets and liabilities before elections, doing so would show that you can stand up for transparency in assets declaration by public officers if elected.”
In an open letter, dated June 11, 2022, and signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP said: “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 rule of law if elected.
“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.”
It went on: “Publicly committing to these issues will also show the voters that if elected, you would act solely to protect public interest and avoid placing yourself under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence you in the discharge of your constitutional duties.
“It would also show that you would be accountable to the public for your actions and submit yourself to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
“Your public commitment to these issues will also demonstrate to the voters that if elected, you would act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner, and that you, would not withhold information from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for doing so.”