Chairman of the National Peace Committee for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar has berated political parties and their candidates jostling for elective offices, especially Presidency, in the elections that begin this week’s Saturday, February 25 across the country, for violating the letter and spirit of the peace accord they signed in September last year.
Speaking yesterday, February 22 in Abuja, at the renewal of peace accord amongst the candidates of the various political parties in Nigeria, Abdulsalami said that the main culprits in the lack of compliance to the earlier accord are the major political parties.
According to him, 44 per cent of the violations were carried out by the spokespersons of the political parties; 26 per cent by party members; 19 per cent by the presidential candidates themselves; 11 per cent by the hardcore supporters and 4 per cent by the Chairmen of the parties,” he said.
The Chairman of the Peace Committee said that since the start of official campaigning on September 28, 2022, there have been 60 attacks recorded on political rallies, resulting in nine fatalities, with the highest numbers in the southwest and southeast and lowest in the northeast and north-central.
“This is according to data collated by the National Election Violence Tracker.”
He, therefore, called on all political actors, key stakeholders and Nigerians to support a peaceful transition, promote the ideals of peace and a violent free post-election period.
“I urge all politicians who will sign the accord to fully commit themselves to the letter and spirit of the Accord.”
This was even as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu assured the nation that the presidential election will hold on Saturday, February 25, saying: “INEC is ready.”
According to him, INEC has already commenced the movement of sensitive materials to the various Local Government Areas (LGAs) nationwide.
“By Friday we will activate the registration area centres so that at first light on Saturday, polling units will open on time.
“The commission is committed to free, fair, and credible elections in compliance with the electoral framework and the spirit of the peace accord.
“All political parties and candidates are hereby reassured of the commission’s neutrality. INEC is not a political party. We have no candidate in the election. Our allegiance is to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and our loyalty is to Nigerians.
“Therefore, Nigerians should feel confident that their votes will count.”