Supporters of People's Democratic Party (PDP) decorate a square with banners of their presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and Vice Presidential candidate Peter Obi. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images
Nigerian Opposition Says VP Candidate's Bank Accounts Frozen
Nigeria’s main opposition People’s Democratic Party said the bank accounts of its vice presidential candidate had been frozen in an act of intimidation by the government ahead of February general elections.
The accounts of Peter Obi, his wife, family members and their businesses had been blocked “by agencies” of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the PDP said in a statement late Saturday.
“Since his nomination, Peter Obi, apart from facing a series of failed attempts to destroy his reputation, has also continued to receive all manner of threats and blackmail, including threats to his life and those of his wife and children,” the party said.
A spokesman for Buhari, Femi Adesina, referred Bloomberg’s queries to the nation’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Its spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.
Buhari came to power in 2015 vowing to clamp down on endemic corrruption. Critics have accused him of using his anti-graft campaign as a pretext to quash political opponents. The main challenger to the 75-year-old former general’s path to a second term is PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, 72, who was vice president from 1999 to 2007. Obi, a former governor of the southeastern state of Anambra, was chosen as Abubakar’s running mate in October.
The PDP said in its statement that Buhari’s All Progressives Congress was using “smear campaigns” and “direct attacks” on Abubakar and Obi ahead of the vote, scheduled for Feb. 16.