Nigeria 2015: SERAP asks Jonathan, Buhari, others to endorse 7-point anti-corruption program

President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari in a warm embrace at the 2015 Elections Sensitization Workshop on Non-Violence in Abuja today, organized by the Office of the National Security Adviser and SA to Mr. President on inter-party affairs.

A civil society group has asked Nigeria’s presidential candidates in next month’s election to commit to tackling corruption.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, wants President Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari, and other candidates to sign a seven-point anti-corruption agenda which includes public declaration of asset, reduction of public expenditure on non-essential items, and probity in expenditure on military items.

President Goodluck Jonathan had in 2012 said he would not declare his asset publicly and did not “give a damn” about public demands for such.

“The issue of public asset declaration is a matter of personal principle. That is the way I see it, and I don’t give a damn about it, even if you criticise me from heaven,” Mr. Jonathan had said during the Presidential Media Chat.

SERAP, however, said it sent an open letter to the presidential candidates on January 16 on the anti-corruption agenda and wants them to commit to it.

Read SERAP’s statement and the anti-corruption program below:

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has sent an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari and other presidential candidates asking them to make “a clear and unequivocal commitment to uphold and implement 7-point anticorruption and human rights program in your political policies if elected.”

Other presidential candidates include Chekwas Okorie of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Oluremi Sonaiya of Kowa Party; Nani Ahmad of African Democratic Congress, ADC; Ambrose Albert of Hope Democratic Party, HDP; Martin Onovo of National Conscience Party, NCP; and Ganiyu Galadima of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN.

In the letter dated January 16, 2015 and signed by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “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.”

According to the organization, “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 7-point program, 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.”

“We believe that 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,” the organization said.

The 7-point program reads in part: “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”

“We ask you to clearly and unequivocally commit that if elected your government will cut-down unnecessary and wasteful expenses in particular that spending on presidential jets, on foreign and local trips, on meals and refreshment, and on fuelling generators will be drastically cut and that the savings will be used for better projects that can add value to good governance and improve the conditions of millions of Nigerians living in poverty.”

“We ask you to commit to ensuring that within six months in office that allegations of corruption in spending on military equipment will be fully investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice. We believe that transparency and accountability in the management of funds meant to end the problem of Boko Haram is key to efficient and effective security forces capable of responding to Nigerians’ legitimate security needs. We ask you to tell Nigerians what you would do to promote transparency and accountability in military spending and ensure that the conflict in the north-east is swiftly and satisfactorily brought to an end.”

“We ask you to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to within six months of assumption of office begin to resolve all outstanding cases of high level official corruption, in particular, cases of corruption in the aviation, oil subsidy scandal, alleged mismanagement of trillions of Naira by the Security and Exchange Commission, missing N300 billion in the petroleum ministry since 2011, the KPMG report involving large-scale corruption in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the missing $20 billion from the account of the NNPC, and the missing $12.4 oil windfall during the Babangida administration.”

“We ask you to tell Nigerians that within your first 100 days in government you will lead the process to domesticate and effectively implement the UN Convention against Corruption within the legal system. We also ask you to commit to ensuring a robust and effective whistle-blowers’ law, and to establishing a politically independent and well-resourced anticorruption commission with potent and effective prosecutorial powers. We ask you to commit to non-interference in the work of the anticorruption commissions and agencies.”

“We ask you to commit to ensuring within 1 year of your government the inclusion of legally enforceable economic, social and cultural rights in the Nigerian Constitution. We believe that the entrenched legacy of poverty and inequality in the country requires far-reaching positive and redistributive measures in areas such as education, housing, health care, water reform and social security. Without such measures the socio-economic legacy of the past would be perpetuated and continue to generate classes of people marginalised from full participation in our fragile democracy.”

“We ask you to publicly commit to the full and effective implementation of court judgments in particular the ECOWAS Court right to free education judgment, and the ECOWAS Court Niger Delta oil pollution judgment.”

“We ask you to lead the process to bring the constitution, alongside all other national laws, into line with the standards set forth in international human rights law, including the UN Convention against Corruption, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

“It is clear that the lack of accountable leadership – together with the deficit of transparency in the management of public finances and public spending –has continued to exacerbate the country’s growing poverty and underdevelopment,” the organization added.

According to the organization, “The evidence of corruption and underdevelopment is indeed staring the country in the face. Hospitals without drugs, bad roads, poor electricity supply, contaminated and undrinkable water, collapsed educational system alone provide strong evidence of the devastation that the stealing of public funds have done to this country.”


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  • Yemi

    Pay back time! This man thought 4 years will not come to end. Mr president sir, Nigerians will show you, feb 14 in my mind!

  • haruna

    Jona has so much assets to declare, it will be more than 360 pages, i will advice him to set up a committee to start compiling his assets now so that they can finish in time.

  • Strong System

    Public declaration of assets by GEJ!……This could bring more votes, if only he could do such a simple task

  • Hembe Hembe

    THE GOOD BUT THE BAD OF MUHAMMADU BUHARI

    “The man (BUHARI) has done a lot of things to this coun­try
    when he was head of state to make Nigerians know that if they vote him to
    power, they are vot­ing tyranny back into power. They are voting back into
    power a man who doesn’t believe in democ­racy. Apart from the fact that he sent
    many of us in the Second Republic to jail when he seized power on December 31,
    1983, he came on a vengeance mission. Laws were backdated to punish innocent
    Nigerians. This was particularly the case of three young men-Batholomew Owo, Barab
    Ogedegbe and Ojulope, who were arrested at the airport for travelling with
    cocaine. In order to punish the boys, Buhari’s regime backdated a law to the
    very day the boys were arrested and got them executed. Even advanced countries
    of the world don’t execute people on frivolous things like that. Even examina­tion
    malpractices were made to carry death penalty. Not only that, he pounced on two
    Guardian jour­nalists, Nduka Irabor and Tunde Thompson, and sent them to jail
    on frivolous charges that they were going to publish something in the foreign
    pages of the Guardian. Many politicians were sent to jail and died there. He
    sent one of the commissioners under Bola Ige, Alarape Jolaoso, to prison and he
    became blind when he left the prison. Till today, Jolaoso is a blind man. What
    about Shagari? Shagari appealed to them to take him to prison, but they locked
    him up somewhere in Ikoyi. By the time Shagari left de­tention, he himself
    wrote that he nearly went blind. Buhari was talking then as if there will never
    be a return of democracy in Nigeria. Yet, it is this same man that is saying he
    wants to rule Nigeria. It could have been a different ballgame if APC had
    picked either Rabiu Kwankwaso or Atiku. Then, we will know we have a challenge.
    But with Buhari, we are not in any way challenged.”—Babatope ( SUNDAY SUN,
    18/01/2015)

    • paul eneke

      That yoruba man you quoted is a moron, i was told he lost his people’s respect for long time now.

  • Thepeople

    The days of miracle have long gone. Jonathan to declare his assest? It would be easier for BokoHaram to convert to christianity than Jonathan to declare his assets.

  • warry

    Let us amend our Constitution to say Asset Declaration Must be made public.

    • tundemash

      is this constitution different from the one used by Yaradua and Jonathan to make their declaration public in 2007 ???

      If Jona made it public in 2007, what changed in 2011 ??

  • Bewise

    They are ready to pay any price, make whatever sacrifice to get power. RCCG pastor are part of desperate game plan. The voice of one cry in the wilderness. He that have ears. ………

    • Bewise

      Don’t be fooled. There is an agenda. The game plan is to use any means possible. That RCCG pastor as VP is a decoy. The voice of one crying in the wilderness. Before it’s too late….. think twice. You are dealing with cunning craftiness. Be wise.

  • Des Rees

    <Letter to President Barack Obama,

    I write to support America’s foreign policy toward Nigeria. It is wrong to spill American’s blood for Nigerians.
    Insofar as Nigerians choose to build a civilization of thefts, Nigerians do not deserve help but need indifference.
    Both the rulers and the ruled in Nigeria have, for the most part, chosen to be career criminals, in blithe agreement.
    Such a benighted country is not worth the blood of an American soldier. I urge you to stay this course all the way.

    The only way Nigerians can learn that stealing kills a country faster than cancer is for them to experience the effects.
    Already, the schools in Nigeria are destroyed; with 80% annual failure rate, and, deadly violence is suffusing the land.
    But that’s just a tip of the iceberg, as the country (Nigeria) limbers up to meet its bloody destiny of genocidal homicide.
    Under no compassion ground must America feel compelled to intervene to help people who chose to be career criminals.

    • BURNING SPEAR

      ARE THERE NO THIEVES IN THE USA?–OVER 90 PERCENT OF THE CONTRACT GIVEN OUT BY THE AMERICANS DURING THE GULF WAR in IRAQ WENT INTO PRIVTE POCKETS—BILLIONS OF US TAX PAAYERS MONEY—MUMU—THE MONEY SO FAR STOLEN IN NIGERIA CAME FROM THE SOUTH SOUTH-WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IS THE REFUSAL OF BUHARI TO SHOW CASE HIS CERTITICATES– HE USED IN ENLISTING INTO THE NIGERIAN ARMY—-IF THAT IS NOT CORRUPTION THEN TELL ME WHAT IT IS–MUMU

      • TrueNja

        There is rule of law in America and once you are cut stealing or corruptly enriching yourself there is consequence. The person will be investigated and if found guilty, he or she will be sent to prison. I am also from South South and my ethnic is benefiting nothing from your clueless president. Only Ijaws are milking our God given black gold. We South South are tired of Ijaws. Read our lips, no more 4 years stealing our black gold.

  • Ette

    Do not be surprised if GEJ willingly sign to these paper works in deception to sway Nigerians . It is also not reasonable to ask GEJ to sign such document as all his antecedents show he cannot in the real sense live by those conditions. Recall he just lied that Okah’s MEND wanted to kill him when in 2010 he was defending same MEND. So on all the conditions we give GEJ zero and his signing will not convince any Nigerian. If he could be encouraging corruption in his first 6 years, is it the last lap that he will go against the corrupt who dished out stolen money during his presidential launch. He has no stake in this his last lap and hence corruption will consume us. No sensible Nigerian want any more of GEJ. Even heaven has rejected GEJ, so let us not waste time on him. God bless Nigeria.

    • DERI

      Agel buhari, the quota system general did not lies about his credentials abi mumu–Did Buhari in his right senses not ask government not to kill members of boko haram—condemned the emergency rule introduced by government to curb the activities of boko haram–buhari did not encourage corruption but was able to release Uba Ahmed the secretary to the defunct NPN–WHO WAS ARRESTED UPON HIS ARRRIVAL FROM London–allowed Alhaji Alhaji to go free even after millions of dollars were stolen from him in London-and kept Fela in Jail—locked up Ambrose Ali until he went blind-based on some silly corruption charges–only for us to find out later that he had only one undeveloped plot of land-when he died from the evil treatment meted out to him by buhari in prison

  • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

    BABA IYABO OBJ. AGAIN BOMB JONATHAN

    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has blow a harshly-VERBAL WARNING to President Jonathan, accusing him of condoning high-level corruption, promoting ethnic schism and deceiving Nigerians.

    Obasanjo also alleged that an Abacha-style assassination squad was being trained and weapons being amassed to target 1,000 Nigerians whose names were on a political watch list, ahead of 2015 general elections.

    He said Jonathan had promised to him and other Nigerians before the 2011 elections that he was going for one term only, and therefore advised him to keep to his words.

    An apparently serious Obasanjo also lamented that President Jonathan had discredited himself by polarising the country along religious and regional lines, undermining his political party, becoming clannish and scaring away foreign investors.
    bn

    • burning spear

      A man who took his sons wife to bed has no moral right to talk about corruption–its only in Africa that such people are allowed to rear their heads in pubic—–in the developed economies of the world such would quietly commit suicide at home-

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        THEY ARE ENTITLED TO THEIR PRIVACY. OBJ, HIS SON AND HIS SPOUSEARE AONE FAMILY. YOU ARE NO MORE THAN A CRUSHER.

  • burning spear

    Its really sad that such an NGO led by Falana–a legal practitioner would over look the certificate scandal of Buhari and begin to search for a needle in a hay stack-The only way to end corruption is via resource control–when the south west had full control of their cocoa–none came to steal from them–until oil was discovered –then everything collapsed–Can Buhari in all sincerity fight corruption with his fake credentials—? Here is a man who have no school cert–enlisted into the Army via the recommendation of the emir of Gwandu perhaps–Then the emir one day is caught with a load of cocaine in his box at the airport–would Buhari be able to prosecute such a man? Can Buhari investigate tinubu–a drug dealer–aware it was buhari who executed 3 drug offenders as head of state–today the same buhari is with tinubu–a drug convict————Yet Nigerians claim such can bring change to the body politics of the nation—the change slogan used by the Night Soil men and juju priest in APC is a big insult to the Nigerian population——Buhari is breaking the laws of the land with impunity and
    at the same time singing the song of change———————————–for who the south west—-or the sirit of kudirat abiola? What a shame—what a country–

    • tundemash

      Maybe because Falana isn’t a cl0wn like you.
      How come Doyin Okupe/Abati/Metuh/Reno have not looked into what you call the certificate scandal ??????

  • tundemash

    Jona to make his asset declaration public ? Yawa wan gas be that !
    Buhari has made dealing with corruption the cornerstone of his election, it is Dumbo who claimed corruption is mere stealing and that we don’t need prison to deal with his looters but some technology from Otuoke which US and UK are not even aware of its existence nor use !

    • Akinfenwa Mikel

      Yeah Buhari has made corruption a cornerstone of his election, but what of the other cornerstones? Does he have a plan to deal with falling oil prices, to empower young people, to increase freedom of the economy and freedom of speech? No, of course not, all he has are empty promises about rooting out decades of corruption in mere months, and getting rid of Boko Haram in even less time. Yeah, sounds like a plan. But what happens after that? Buhari is an inept politician with no sense of how to run a country like Nigeria — he already proved that 30 years ago.

      • tundemash

        When you have many problems, you deal with the most chronic and most important !

        If you are able to read, check out the APC Presidential manifesto and I welcome you to show me PDP’s Presidential manisfesto and prove to me they have adhered to it since 1999.

        http://www(dot)allprogressivescongress(dot)org/manifesto/

        Only a cl0wn would tell me a man who ruled in 20 months failed compared with a a man who ruled for 6 years ! How old were you on January 1 1984 ? Waiting for a debate on the manifestoes.

        And talking about debate, please make sure Dumbo doesn’t dodge this year as he did in 2011; we won’t accept him debating Dbanj in a Presidential debate !

  • TrueNja

    “The issue of public asset declaration is a matter of personal principle. That is the way I see it, and I don’t give a damn about it, even if you criticise me from heaven,” Mr. Jonathan had said during the Presidential Media Chat” This Badluck Jonathan is a clown. Now you want we Nigerians’ votes that you don’t give a damm to in 2012. I doubt your PhD. Read our lips, no more 4 years of hardship.

  • Abeni

    Calls to fight corruption in the public sphere should be welcomed, but for Buhari ending corruption in Nigeria and respecting human rights hardly go hand in hand! Does anyone remember his military rule? I lived through it and can tell you that Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign and fight against indiscipline at this time was mired with human rights violations, the jailing of hundreds of innocents and humiliating government workers and the population. Surely there are other ways to end corruption in Nigeria! Furthermore, given Buhari is a military man himself, it seems unlikely he will promote transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s military.

  • Okwuchukwu

    I welcome gladly such an initiative. Anything to tackle corruption in our country. The road is long but every small step is a victory. Plus, if GEJ signs, he will prove GMB is not the only anti corruption candidate (he is wrongly perceived so). GEJ did a lot to reduce corruption, with the suppression of 46000 ghost workers in the federal service sector, the actions against of the fertilizer scam and more visibility for a healthy fuel distribution. Amnesty international has even brought down our index of corruption from 156 to 134 during his mandate.

  • Ayodele Ohakim

    Everyone knows corruption is rampant in today’s political life, not only in Nigeria but pretty much anywhere around the world. Why it may be more flagrant in our country is because of the long history of corruption even since before 1960.

    None of the candidates would endorse this anti-corruption program because it is completely utopian. But at this game of pick your poison, I’d rather chose the candidate who has already done something to fight corruption in GEJ: his removal of more than 46000 ghost workers from the federal service sector has not gone unnoticed; or distance myself from the candidate who associates himself with the likes of Ahmed Tinubu or Rotimi Amaechi.

  • Clarion Diallo

    I’d rather give my vote to the candidate I know will actively fight corruption. If GEJ has proof someone is corrupt, he will remove them from office. Look what happened with the former governor of the central bank Muhammadu Sanusi after he tried to fraud the NNPC. Voting for GEJ is the clear choice.