Tinubu, Atiku and others must publicly declare assets ahead of campaign, CSOs demand | The Guardian Nigeria News

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Before the start of political party campaigns, civil society organizations (CSOs) urged presidential candidates to publish details of their assets and liabilities.

They also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to submit its budget report to the National Assembly for review.

At a press conference in Abuja yesterday, CSOs said the call has become necessary to maintain transparency and ensure the 2023 elections are not heavily monetized.

The CSOs are: YIAGA Africa, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Connected Development (CODE), BudgiT, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Enough is Enough, Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative.

YIAGA Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, and CODE Executive Director, Hamzat Lawal, speaking on behalf of the groups, said that despite the existence of a legal framework for the declaration of assets of office holders policies, the level of compliance is unknown, as office holder asset declaration data is not publicly available.

According to them, the lack of public data on the assets of potential political aspirants paves the way for opacity and lack of accountability, thus fueling political corruption.

They said, “With over 20 years of enduring democracy, Nigeria must work towards achieving inclusive governance, where all categories of citizens and underserved groups are given every opportunity to participate effectively in governance processes.

“The monetization of politics was the main headline in political party primaries and has become an indicator of how vote buying and selling will play a disruptive role in the 2023 election.

“This has also affected the value of the naira as the midshipmen now trade and distribute major international currencies, especially the dollar. Over the past two weeks, the exchange rate of the dollar against the naira has peaked at 715 naira on the parallel market due to excessive pressure on the value of the naira.

“Vote buying has become a widespread practice, where democracy struggles to be fully consolidated due to Nigeria’s corrupt and entrenched political class, trapping citizens in relationships of self-sabotage and subservience with the political leaders. We therefore call on all political parties and political aspirants to publicly declare their holdings.

“They should also declare the use and withdrawal of their 2019 campaign funds, in accordance with sections 85 to 90 of the Nigerian Elections Act 2022, as a sign of good faith and a commitment to release them after the 2023 elections. .”

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