The presidential candidates of 18 political parties are expected to sign a pact towards a peaceful election this Saturday.
Several of them converged on Abuja on Wednesday for the landmark event.Some of the presidential candidates present include Bola Tinubu (APC); Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP), and Dan Nwanyanwu (ZLP), while the Labour Party was represented by its vice-presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.Unlike elections prior to 2015 when the the National Peace Committee came into existence, presidential candidates for the the 2023 polls are made to sign the Peace Accord twice.
The first one was signed in September last year, prior to the commencement of Campaigns. That accord was signed to oblige the candidates to a peaceful Campaign.This signing is the second at last to be signed by the candidates, and it’s to enlist their commitment to a peaceful conduct of the 2023 presidential election.
Members of the peace committee present include General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Bishop Matthew Kukah, and Dr John Momoh, CON.Others 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.Again, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reiterated its commitment to conducting the elections as scheduled.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, 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, stressing the significant position Nigeria occupies on the continent.