ABUJA: A Nigeria rights group has requested presidential candidates for next month’s general election to make a commitment to uphold and implement the anticorruption and human rights programme in their policies if elected into office.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) made the request in an open letter addressed to the candidates, among them President Goodluck Jonathan, General Muhammadu Buhari – the two favourites.
“We believe that the forthcoming presidential election holds the potential to usher in changes in the way that Nigeria enforces and implements its human rights and anticorruption commitments. We urge you to clearly and unequivocally commit to concrete human rights reforms to end the increasing level of corruption and the impunity of perpetrators,” the letter read.
“Evasive and obfuscatory commitments by politicians undermine transparency and accountability of elected public officials and contribute to bad governance. By making a clear and unequivocal commitment to implement the proposed seven-point programme, Nigerians will be able to make an informed and unbiased decision to vote for issues and not personalities. They will also be able to compare what you are promising to do and what you actually do while in the office.”
The organisation believes the president, after the election, must come to term with the reality of massive high-level official corruption, and the devastation and suffering it has caused millions of innocent Nigerians.
“We ask you to demonstrate your total rejection of corruption by publicly declaring your assets ahead of the election. Nigerians are not prepared to trust a would-be president that is unwilling to come clean and be straight with them.
“We also ask you to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to recover all stolen public funds since the return of democracy in 1999 and to spend the funds on projects that can ensure respect for basic socio-economic rights of all Nigerians.” SERAP asked officials to clearly and unequivocally commit that if elected, they will cut-down unnecessary and wasteful expenses.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY