2019 Elections: Buhari, Atiku, Others Sign 2nd Peace Accord

Ahead of the Saturday February 16 election, presidential candidates of top political parties on Wednesday signed a peace accord promising to ensure a violence-free poll.

Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking reelection on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, took part in the signing of the peace accord.

The presidential candidates had earlier late last year 2018, also signed a similar peace accord.

The event on Wednesday which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, was like the first one, also put together by National Peace Committee.

According to the committee chairman, a former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, the event was put together to make sure there will be peaceful conduct of all elections in the country.

Speaking in his welcome address, Abdulsalami said there was no way elections will hold in the absence of peaceful atmosphere, adding that even governance after election will not be possible without a peaceful environment.

He said, “Don’t do anything to make a bad situation worse. Without cooperation among political parties, we are going nowhere.”

He then told the presidential candidates that by appending their signature for that they are committing themselves to ensuring a peaceful election in Nigeria.

He cautioned that the rate at which mosques and churches misinform their members must be “must be contained.”

In his speech, a former head of state, Yakubu Gowon, called on all  the candidates to inform their supporters to make sure the shun violence during the elections so that in the future, there may be no need for foreign observers because the right conduct would have been assured.

He added, “May the winner be as dictated from above.”

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, who also spoke at the event, said in her remarks that millions of people across the world are praying for Nigeria and hoping that the coming election will hold peacefully.

She called on all concerned to ensure a credible and transparent election as she noted that the signing ceremony was fully in line with Commonwealth values.

According to her, the world is holding their breath because Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa with the largest population.

“It is a burden that Nigerian leaders gathered here today carry. We call on their party, supporters and public to follow their lead. Elections will come and go, but this great Nigeria will remain,” she said.

Among those who attended the event are former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is leading the ECOWAS observer mission; a former President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, who heads the Commonwealth observer mission and Festus Moghai a former President of Botswana who is heading the Democratic National Institute and Republic National Institute.