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Money Laundering: Atiku, Tinubu should quit campaigns of calumny, face Nigerians at townhalls:

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*Reminds Presidential candidates that millions of Citizens are starving to death:

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Tuesday, slammed the presidential candidates of the All-Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu; and his counterpart in the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar over campaigns of calumny against each other.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement said both Tinubu and Atiku and two sides of the same coin since both sides are claiming that their opponent has been found to have allegedly committed the same offence of money laundering, they are accusing each other of.

The group said instead of throwing childish campaigns here and there that do not advance Nigeria or benefit the citizens in any way, the two candidates, especially Tinubu, should surrender himself for scrutiny at town halls and present his agenda before Nigerians as well as answer their questions directly just as other presidential candidates are doing.

HURIWA lamented that whereas Bola Ahmed Tinubu of APC and Atiku Abubakar of PDP are quarreling like overgrown school pupils, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is warning Nigeria that some 25 million Nigerians risk severe hunger between June and August this year.

HURIWA recalled that the October 22 report by the United Nations agency, which confirmed existing 17 million famished Nigerians, cautioned that the figure would hit the 25 million marks in the predicted period if urgent efforts are not taken to stem the tide.

HURIWA quoted the report from FAO as identifying the drivers of the unsavory development to include persistent conflicts, climate change, inflation and rising food prices. It noted that access to food has been affected by unrelenting terrorism in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY), as well as banditry and abductions in Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Benue and Niger states. It recalled that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported that last year’s flooding claimed more than 676,000 hectares of farmland, diminished harvests and increased food insecurity across Nigeria.

HURIWA therefore challenged the candidates to stop their childish ranting’s that have zero contributions towards advancing the public good but should speak to Nigerians and demonstrate their knowledge of how to end hunger, stop insecurity, check joblessness and reverse the unsavory economic indices in Nigeria.

HURIWA’s statement followed a 72-hour ultimatum given by the APC to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICP) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to arrest Atiku over alleged Money Laundering, Criminal Breach of Trust and Criminal Misappropriation, and Conspiracy.

The APC rode on the allegations by a whistle-blower, Michael Achimugu, who in a trending audio recording alleged that former Vice President Alhaji Atiku as vice president between 1999 and 2007, colluded with his then boss, Olusegun Obasanjo, to fleece the country and steal public funds using what he termed Special Purpose Vehicles.

The PDP, however, fired back and said that the effect of the conviction and forfeiture of the sum of $460,000 by Tinubu in the United States confirmed that he is ineligible to run for the office of the Nigerian President.

Onwubiko said, “The case of APC and PDP is very laughable! It is because both Atiku and Tinubu are accusing each other of the same offences that they allegedly said each other committed. At least, a spokesman for Tinubu’s campaign and serving minister, Festus Keyamo confirmed that the APC presidential candidate forfeited $460,000 in one of the 10 US banks linked to him and that he ‘mistakenly’ stayed in the same house as drug barons!

“Now, a whistleblower has accused Atiku of money laundering and other related offences and Atiku’s campaign spokesman, Dino Melaye said the campaign council doesn’t want to talk about it? And would let it slide? Is that how it is done? If the whistleblower is wrong, then Atiku should slam him for defamation of character and malicious slander and pursue the case in court and not try to be silent about the matter.

“The two candidates must stop infantile campaigns of calumny against each other. HURIWA demands immediate cessation of deployment of childish and provocative diversionary methods as political campaigns.  We demand that candidates for elective offices should face Nigerians and debate at townhall, village squares, TV stations, radio stations on issues and aspects of the blueprints on how to reverse the bad state of the economy, defeat terrorists, provide opportunities for wealth creation by Nigerian youths, eradicate child poverty and gender-based violence and protect our environment from pollution and degradation.”

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko

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