The Presidential candidates of the two major contending political parties in Nigeria: President Goodluck Jonathan of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and General Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC) met this morning to renew their commitment to peaceful, free and fair election, come Saturday, March 28. The election is less than 36 hours from now.
The contenders, who were brought together by the former Nigerian military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar under the auspices of National Peace Committee signed a joint document pledging their commitment to a united, democratic and prosperous Nigeria.
“We also pledge to respect the outcome of free, fair and credible elections. We want to all Nigerians to stand together at this critical phase of our nation’s history.”
The full text of the previous Peace Accord between which was signed on January 14th this year and the renewed one today were spelt out at a meeting of the two contenders at Sheraton Hotel, Abuha thus:
Renewal of our pledges to peaceful elections:
Joint statement issued by His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan and Major General Muhammad Buhari on Thursday, March 26, 2015 ahead of the 2015 presidential elections
You may recall that on 14th January 2015, both of us, long with nine other party leaders signed what has now come to be known as the Abuja Accord. The substance of that Accord was our commitment to free, fair and credible elections in our dear country.
In the Accord, we agreed to, among other things, run an issue-based campaign and pledged that our electoral campaigns will not involve any religious incitement, ethnic or tribal profiling, both by ourselves and all agents acting in our names.
Now that the campaigns have come to an end, we meet today to renew our pledge for peaceful elections. We therefore call on all fellow citizens of our dear country, and our part supporters, to refrain from violence or any acts that may in any way jeopardise our collective vision of a free, fair and credible election.
In addition, we call on INEC and all security agencies to ensure strict adherence to their constitutional roles. We also pledge to respect the outcome of free, fair and credible elections.
Today, we again renew our commitment to a united, democratic and prosperous Nigeria. We want to all Nigerians to stand together at this critical phase of our nation’s history.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless you all.
Speaking after Jonathan and Buhari had appended their signatures to the Peace Accord document, General Abdulsalami said that the peace committee was set up after Abuja Accord which was signed by both President Jonathan and Gen. Buhari, adding that the committee has been working round the clock to assist the parties and Nigerians to ensure that there is peace and harmony before, during and after the elections this time around.
“Mr. President was kind enough to see us yesterday (Wednesday), one he is the President of the country and secondly he is a contestant. And this morning Gen. Buhari despite his late arrival last night or early arrival this morning was kind enough to meet with this committee.
“In essence all the meetings were held to brief them the current situation of the country and what we expect of them as stakeholders and as presidential candidates.
“I want to thank both the President and Gen. Buhari for finding time to meet with the committee. And I want to thank both party chairmen for the support received in trying to send this message of peace.
“I’m happy both parties, the contestants are committed to free and fair elections, free of violence. And this morning, a document to reiterate their commitment to peaceful elections was signed by both.”
It would be recalled that on January 14th, both Presidential candidates along with their party chairmen and others signed what is known as the Abuja Accord, which they renewed today to reassure the world and make Nigerians understand that Nigeria is more important than their own aspirations and that people should live and reflect the ideals of this.
The wordings of the accord were read by Bishop Kukah. [myad]