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USE CAMPAIGN FUND TO FIGHT TERRORISTS- HURIWA TASKS POLITICAL PARTIES

WANTS PDP'S ALLEGATION AGAINST GOVERNOR AMAECHI PROBED
By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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A pro-Democracy Non-Governmental Organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has decried the prohibitive cost of election campaign by political parties preparatory to the 2015 General elections and has therefore urged for effective and efficient monitoring by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC], the Independent Corrupt practices and other related Offences Commission[ICPC] and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] to ensure compliance to extant electoral laws relating to campaign funding. HURIWA accused these governmental institutions of doing nothing and allowing impunity to reign supreme in the way and manner that politicians spend huge financial resources to prosecute election campaigns over the years.

Besides, the Rights group has urged for the use of the huge financial resources being systematically amassed for election campaigns by the two dominant political parties- PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY [PDP] and the ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS [APC] to be diverted to the Nigeria's defence sector for the purposes of more efficiently equipping the combatants in the frontlines of the current counter terrorism battles so as to quicken the defeat of the well armed and motivated armed Islamic terrorists waging a war of attrition against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Rights group stated that it is laughable that the nation only recently borrowed $1 Billion USD to fight terrorism when it is known that locally companies and individuals abound who could have raised such amount which these individuals have now donated for mere mundane election campaign possibly to procure future pecuniary patronage and privileges from the central government.

HURIWA in the statement made available to the media and jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf had argued that in a time of disturbing war against the Nigerian people and governmental institutions by the armed terrorists, it would be unreasonable and insensitive to also live with the harsh reality that political office seekers have piled up massive financial resources for electoral campaign when the nation is aflame and thousands of innocent Nigerians facing the unfortunate gruesome fate of being slaughtered and displaced by the terrorists. ''Have we no national conscience any more and has our sense of national outrage dead that whilst thousands of our people are without homes made so by armed terrorists and marauders and have become refugees in other fringe countries whereby they are treated in the most subhuman way and at this same time certain business executives have embarked on spending spree to assist political office seekers win election next year?''

HURIWA's media statement followed reports of unprecedented Naira rain during the fund raise ceremony at the Presidential Villa Abuja in which the Peoples Democratic Party amassed over N21 Billion from a diverse group of stakeholders in the private and public sector for the prosecution of the 2015 Presidential campaign by the national ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] and also the groundswell of allegations by the Rivers state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] that the All Progressives Congress [APC] governor of the state Mr Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has frittered billions of Rivers state peoples' money to bankroll the primary election campaign of the eventual winner of the Presidential ticket of the leading national opposition party-ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS [APC] Major General Muhammadu Buhari [rtd].

The Rights group stated that while it has nothing against affluent Nigerians showering humongous monetary donations to whomsoever they so desire but it nevertheless said that the principle of rule of law must be complied with in line with global best practices on political campaign financing even as it lamented that the Independent National electoral Commission [INEC] has consistently failed to transparently compel politicians and their political donors to remain within the legal benchmarks of campaign financing over the years. On the allegations of secret funding of the All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate by the Rivers state governor Mr Amaechi, HURIWA charged the anti-graft bodies and the Rivers state House of Assembly to investigate these range of damaging allegations so as to recover to the last kobo any of the Rivers state money diverted illegally to fund election campaign of the opposition party.

HURIWA stated thus; ''In the name of God we urge the PDP and APC to donate at least a quarter of their huge Presidential campaign fund to the nation's defence and military establishments and mount pressure on the relevant committees of the National Assembly to ensure transparent disbursement of these fund for the procurement of sophisticated weapons and fighting firearms for the military so they can very quickly bring to an end the current regime of mass slaughter of Nigerians by the murderous terrorist elements based in the North East of Nigeria. What is the essence of wasting so much money to prosecute election campaign and to discover that parts of the country has been taken over by the terrorists who seek the destruction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Is it not more honourable to spend wisely for election campaign, use some of these huge money to fight terrorists so we can have peaceful election come February 14th 2015?''.