Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria,, HURIWA, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to go after all the special delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the just concluded presidential primary election in Abuja.
The group also faulted the process that produced former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said Atiku’s emergence was allegedly heavily compromised by undue monetisation, adding that the candidate gave their candidate slot to the highest bidder.
The rights advocacy group said it was disappointing that operatives of the anti-graft agency only showed up at the venue of the primaries election at the MKO Abiola Stadium Abuja as if they don’t know that bribery of delegates has already taken place elsewhere as usual.
The group berated the EFCC for failing to deploy Intelligence skills in order to catch both the alleged bribe givers and takers.
Delegates for the presidential primaries were reportedly given at least $35,000 each by some northern aspirants and the allegation of bribery is yet to be debunked by the individuals so accused.
Atiku, however, emerged victorious in the election, polling 371 votes to defeat his closest rival, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who polled 237 votes.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Nigerians were shocked at the corruption fiesta called PDP presidential primary on Sunday night.”
The withdrawal from the PDP race by former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi; and businessman, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; who both said the PDP had monetised the process suffices that the presidential primary was nothing but corruption fiesta.
HURIWA also said it strongly condemns the conspiracy of the EFCC that pretended that it doesn’t know that bribes exchanged hands.
Recall that operatives of the anti-graft agency stormed the primary venue and HURIWA said it observed that dollars still changed hands as seen in several media reports. “How shameful!”
HURIWA “urged the EFCC top echelons in Abuja to prosecute the over 700 delegates that voted on Saturday/Sunday.”