Nigerian opposition accuses government of blocking VP candidate's account

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ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's main opposition party said authorities had frozen the bank accounts of its vice presidential candidate in the run-up to elections next February.

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) said late on Saturday accounts belonging to Peter Obi, its vice presidential candidate, his wife, family members and their businesses had been blocked by government agencies. The PDP did not identify them.

The presidency could not be reached for comment.

"Why is the presidency on a wild goose chase in investigating Peter Obi, who left office as Governor of Anambra state five years ago with a nationally acclaimed clean record," the PDP said in a statement.

President Muhammadu Buhari last month launched his campaign for re-election for a second term, running on his track record on corruption. Buhari's handling of a struggling economy will also be a central campaign issue.

PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, a former ally to Buhari, chose as running mate Obi, 57, to generate support in the southeast region, which includes Anambra, where the president has polled badly in past elections.

Geographical affiliations in Nigeria are crucial in a sprawling nation of 190 million people from 250 ethnic groups.

With a tight race in prospect, a strong showing in the southeast could give the PDP enough votes to deny Buhari, a former military ruler, a second four-year term.

(Reporting by Camillus Eboh and Felix Onuah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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