Presidential Candidates Sign Peace Accord, Atiku, Ezekwesili Absent

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Pic.25. From left: Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; President Muhammadu Buhari; former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; former Chief of General Staff, retired Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe; FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello; and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, at a conference of all Political Parties and signing of Peace Accord by the presidential candidates on 2019 General Elections, organized by the National Peace Committee in Abuja on Tuesday (11/12/18). 06518/11/12/2018/Albert Otu/BJO/NAN

The various Presidential candidates for the elections set to hold next year, gathered together to sign an peace accord where they pledged to keep things peaceful during the polls.

There were, however, a number of notable absentees.

Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party, Dr Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressives Party and Omoyele Sowore of the  African Action Congress were all conspicuously absent from the signing

Former Heads of State  Yakubu Gowon  and Abdulsalami Abubakar were both present at the signing along with other notable politicians such as Vice-Chairman of the National Peace Committee Ebitu Ukiwe; United Nations Secretary-General Special Representative in West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas;  the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111;  the  Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Matthew Hassan  Kukah.

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Pleading with the candidates to let peace reign, the chairman of the National Peace Committee Abdulsalami said: “Politicians must learn to lead by example and temper their utterances and action with responsibility and patriotism. I strongly appeal to all participants to endeavour to stick to the contents of the peace pact they signed, and to INEC to carry out its mandate as expected of it.

“Candidates have the capacity to make or break the process, so they must watch their utterances and conduct themselves well ahead of the 2019 elections and beyond.”

Up to 30 political parties laid complaints at not being allowed to speak at the event, pointing out that giving only APC’s Muhammadu Buhari the platform to speak showed an unfair favouritism towards the incumbent.

Abdulsalami noted that there will be a chance for those absent to sign the pact even though they were not at the ceremony

“Of course, they are open to come and sign the peace accord. What surprises me is that when we had the conference with the political parties, he came out and agreed on this agenda; the parties agreed and it was the recommendation that the peace committee has taken.” he said


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