By Kenneth Atavti
Civil rights Society group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, yesterday, frowned at the process that led to the emergence of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, alleged that Atiku’s emergence was heavily compromised by undue monetisation, adding that the PDP delegates gave their candidate slot to the highest bidder.
The group said it was disappointing that officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission showed up at the venue of the primary election at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja but failed to arrest anyone.
The group also warned the ruling All Progressives Congress to move against a northern candidate and make a southerner its presidential candidate “in the spirit of fairness and to preserve the unity of Nigeria”.
With the extension of the deadline for the submission of names of presidential candidates by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the APC moved its presidential primary from the end of May to first week in June while Nigerians keep a watchful eye to see who the party will put forward.
“According to reports, each of the 767 national delegates that voted at the MKO Abiola Stadium, venue of the presidential primary, allegedly got at least $35,000 from the aspirants. This allegation is yet to be debunked by the individuals so accused,” the group said.
Atiku secured the votes of 371 delegates to win the primary election. His closest rival was Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who polled 237 votes while former Senate President Bukola Saraki got 70 votes, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed polled 20 votes and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel secured 38 votes.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko described the presidential primary of the PDP as a “corruption fiesta”.