Ahead of Saturday’s election in Nigeria, Presidential candidates of 18 political parties have signed a peace Pact.
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Labour Party’s Peter Obi and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), among others, signed the peace accord in a ceremony witnessed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Other attendees were the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki; former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta and Malawi’s former President, Joyce Hilda Banda, also witnessed the ceremony.
Others were Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland and European Union, Head of Delegations, Ms. Samuela Isopi.
Some of the peace committee members present included General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Bishop Matthew Kukah, and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III.
President Buhari, in his address, reiterated his commitment to allowing the rule of law to take its course.
He also appealed to the candidates to accept the outcome of the election, and seek legal redress if dissatisfied.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Yakubu, restated the commitment of the Commission to conduct the elections as scheduled. He assured Nigerians of a transparent exercise.
On his part, IGP Baba, decried the lack of compliance with the spirit of the September peace accord, which committed the candidates to issue based Campaign.
The first peace accord was signed in September last year, prior to the commencement of campaigns. That accord was signed to oblige the candidates to a peaceful 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.