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CNPP asks Tinubu, Atiku to withdraw from presidential race over alleged misdeeds

By Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
18 January 2023   |   6:09 am
Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has demanded that the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar...

Atiku and Tinubu

HURIWA slams candidates over campaign of calumny

Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has demanded that the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, immediately withdraw from the February 2023 contest over alleged vices.

In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, CNPP said latest revelations and counter allegations against both presidential candidates have brought to the front burner urgent need to ensure corrupt politicians and persons with connections to illicit businesses are not allowed to emerge as political parties’ flag bearers in elections at all levels.

The CNPP said: “While we agree with the APC presidential campaign council that security agencies should immediately arrest Atiku for prosecution over his Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) systems, as against open corruption, we also call for Tinubu to subject himself to security screening over alleged illicit business ventures and corruption allegation bordering on the use of SPV, like the Alpha Beta.”

According to the group, “for the CNPP, both APC and PDP are right in their calls and counter calls for their respective presidential candidates to step aside for thorough investigation, as the allegations made by a whistleblower, Mr. Michael Achimugu, against Atiku and the revelations equally made by award-winning journalist and researcher, David Hundeyin, bordering on international crime, specifically, trafficking in narcotics and taking proceeds of narcotics are all germane.

“These are serious allegations that impact negatively on corruption, national security and trans-border criminal activities. Crime prevention is part of the fundamental duties of the security agencies anywhere in the world and Nigeria is not an exception.”

It noted further: “There is reasonable suspicion that Atiku engaged in syndicated corruption at hi-tech magnitudes as Vice President of Nigeria under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, where companies were alleged to have been deliberately incorporated purely as vehicles for unfettered siphoning of Nigeria’s commonwealth.

“Little wonder former President Obasanjo’s book, ‘My Watch’, in chapter 36, which was devoted to discussing alleged corruption and money laundering cases linked to Atiku, detailed some ‘corrupt involvement’ of the former Vice President with a company called iGATE, and William Jefferson, a former U.S. lawmaker, who was later jailed for 13 years over corruption.

“Chief Obasanjo linked Atiku to the misappropriation of $20 million, which the administration was supposed to deploy for Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), and another $125 million to fund PTDF during 2003 the fiscal year.

“On the other hand, Hundeyin exposed alleged drug links to Bola Tinubu, with Atiku’s spokesperson, Dino Melaye, insisting that as a result of the revelation, Tinubu is the person expected to be investigated and prosecuted, as ‘he is the one that has been indicted already in a certified court indictment. He is the man that has faced the Code of Conduct before,’ Dino Melaye said in response to a petition to security agencies by Festus Keyamo against Atiku.”

CNPP, therefore, called on Atiku and Tinubu to “immediately withdraw from the 2023 presidential race and submit themselves to security and anti-corruption agencies for proper investigation of the allegations against them.”

It added: “This is the honourable thing to do at this time, as Nigerians cannot afford to endure another possible eight years of a government run by individuals whose past is laden with baggage on unresolved allegations.”

MEANWHILE, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has knocked both candidates for waging “infantile campaigns of calumny against each other.”
National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said: “The case of APC and PDP is very laughable. HURIWA demands immediate cessation of the deployment of childish and provocative diversionary methods as political campaigns. We demand that candidates for elective offices should face Nigerians and debate at town halls, village squares, TV stations, radio stations on issues and aspects of blueprints on how to reverse the bad state of the economy, defeat terrorists, provide opportunities for wealth creation, eradicate child poverty and gender-based violence and protect our environment from pollution and degradation.”