The presidential candidate of African Renaissance Party (ARP), Alhaji Yahaya Ndu has promised that his party will end the use of the death penalty in the country if elected in the April elections. Alhaji Ndu made the commitment following a letter sent to him and other 17 presidential candidates by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
Responding to SERAPs letter, the ARP candidate in a letter dated 25 February 2010 said: May it be in your good records that if elected in the April elections I, Alhaji Yahaya Ndu, the presidential candidate of the African Renaissance Party (ARP) will: adopt official moratorium to stop the application of the death penalty in Nigeria; ensure the legal and constitutional recognition of legally enforceable economic, social and cultural rights; ensure the full and effective implementation of the ECOWAS Court judgement declaring that Nigerians are entitled to a legally enforceable right to education; and end impunity for human rights violations in the country.
ARP will also establish a national judicial commission of enquiry to investigate the amount of monies that have been stolen by governments or their agents since the return of democracy in 1999, and recommend mechanisms to locate and recover such funds wherever they may be found.
We will implement the constitutional framework to ensure that top state officials, including president, not only declare their assets but also cause such declarations to be published widely and regularly, Alhaji Ndu said.
ARP also promised to
address the problem of impunity for corruption, and ensure fair investigation and prosecution of corruption cases and other violations of economic, social and cultural rights, and ensure the full independence and freedom of action of anti-corruption commissions and bodies. We will ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of recovered stolen wealth.
While thanking you immensely for the good work of SERAP over the years, permit me to applaud your efforts of getting the public commitments of Presidential Candidates in Nigeria to human rights and anticorruption reforms in key priority areas ahead of the April 2011 elections. Finally, may I say that I look forward to a presidential debate to be organised by SERAP to examine all the presidential candidates positions on these matters exhaustively, ARP candidate also said.
SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said: We have welcomed the expressed commitment by the ARP candidate, and hope this will show the way for the other presidential candidates especially the 3 leading candidates who have so far not responded to the call that they should look Nigerians in the eye and tell them how they will, in concrete terms, end economic and social rights violations and high level official corruption and the impunity of perpetrators.
It is simply unacceptable that those seeking the citizens votes cannot be straight to the people. We urge the 3 leading presidential candidates (that is, President Goodluck Jonathan (Peoples Democratic Party); General Muhammadu Buhari (Congress for Progressive Change); and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu (Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)) to show good example and follow the laudable action by the ARP candidate by urgently telling Nigerians how they will address the priority areas suggested by SERAP. It is perfectly in order for Nigerians to ask the candidates to tell the nation the specific policies they will pursue in their 100 days in office, Mumuni said.
In the letter sent by SERAP the group had said that, all the 18 presidential candidates should look Nigerians in the eye and tell them how they will, in concrete terms, end: the unacceptable lack of legal recognition of economic, social and cultural rights, and the governments failure to implement ECOWAS Court right to education judgment; the use of the death penalty; high level corruption; and the impunity of perpetrators during their first 100 days in office.
Letters were sent to: President Goodluck Jonathan (Peoples Democratic Party); Muhammadu Buhari (Congress for Progressive Change); Nuhu Ribadu (Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); Dele Momodu (National Conscience Party); Ibrahim Shekarau (All Nigeria Peoples Party); Akpona Solomon (National Majority Democratic Party); Chris Nwaokobia (Liberal Democratic Party); Chris Okotie (Fresh Democratic Party); Ebiti Ndok (United National Party for Development); President.
Others are: Iheanyichukwu Nnaji (Better Nigeria Progressive Party); John Dara (National Transformation Party); Mahmud Waziri (People for Democratic Change) Nwadike Chikezie (Peoples Mandate Party) Peter Nwangwu (African Democratic Congress); Rasheed Shitta-Bey (Mega Progressive Peoples Party) Yahaya Ndu (African Renaissance Party); and Ambrose Awuru (Hope Democratic Party).