Nigeria Decides 2023

2023 Presidential Election: Candidates Sign Peace Pact

Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting 

CANDIDATES for Saturday’s presidential election have, again, signed a pack at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Wednesday.

Among the presidential candidates present were Bola Tinubu (APC); Peter Obi (LP), Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP), and Dan Nwanyanwu (ZLP).

Unlike elections prior to 2015 when the the National Peace Committee came into existence, presidential candidates for the the 2023 polls were made to sign the Peace Accord twice.

The first one was signed in September last year, prior to the commencement of campaigns, which was designed to oblige the candidates to a peaceful campaign

Wednesday’s signing was the second to be signed by the candidates and was to enlist their commitment to a peaceful conduct of the 2023 presidential election.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his address, reiterated his commitment to allowing the rule of law to take its course.

He called on those saddled with the responsibility of conducting the election to allow the electorate to chose who governs them.

Buhari  also appealed to the candidates to accept the outcome of the election, and seek legal redress if dissatisfied.

Some of the peace committee members present included General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Bishop Matthew Kukah, and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III.

Other attendees were the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, and former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, who leads the Commonwealth Election Observer Group to Nigeria.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has, however, restated its commitment to conducting the elections as scheduled.

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, while speaking, also assured Nigerians of a transparent exercise.

The IGP, in his remarks, decried the lack of compliance with the spirit of the September peace accord, which committed the candidates to issue-based campaign.

Baba appealed to political parties to rein in their supporters to ensure that the election is peaceful.

He also called on the candidates to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who accepted the outcome of the 2015 elections and helped keep the country’s peace.

In her remarks, the European Union (EU) ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, urged Nigeria to lead by example and send a strong message to the world about consolidating democracy.

She called on all candidates to accept the results of the elections and seek legal redress when dissatisfied.

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, underscored the importance of the 2023 general elections.

She reiterated the significant position Nigeria occupies on the continent.

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