NAN – President Goodluck Jonathan and retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Presidential Candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) respectively, on Thursday, March 26, 2015 signed another peace accord to guarantee violence-free elections.
A joint statement issued by the two candidates in Abuja at a meeting facilitated by the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee on 2015 Elections, tagged the accord a “Renewal of our pledges to peaceful elections“.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that a similar peace agreement code-named: “Abuja Accord“ was signed by the Jonathan, Buhari and nine other presidential candidates on Jan. 14.
A member of the peace committee, Bishop Mathew Kukah, who read part of the content of the accord, urged Nigerians to refrain from violence and other acts capable of jeopardising the collective vision of free, fair and credible elections in the country.
“You may recall that on 14th January 2015, both of us, along 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, among other things, that both would 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 and gone, we meet today to renew our pledge for peaceful elections.
“We therefore call on all fellow citizens of our dear country, and our party supporters to refrain from violence or any acts that may in any way jeopardize 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 appeal 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.“
In his remarks, Abdulsalami Abubakar said the peace committee had been working tirelessly to assist the parties and Nigerians to ensure peace and harmony before, during and after the elections.
He stated that the committee had earlier met with Jonathan and Buhari to brief them on the state of affairs in the country and what the nation and international community expected of them as stakeholders and as presidential candidates.
He thanked the two presidential candidates and party chairmen of PDP and APC for finding time to meet with the committee and for the support they had offered toward ensuring peace among their members and supporters.
“I am 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 this peaceful conduct of the elections is being signed,’’ he said.
Following the signing of the accord, Jonathan and Buhari hugged each other to reassure Nigerians and the world of their commitment to making sure that the country is greater than their individual aspirations.