In an effort to avoid unrest and violence leading up to the general election in Nigeria on February 25, the 18 contenders for president have signed a second peace agreement in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
The pact is to ensure “the conduct of free, fair, credible, transparent and verifiable elections cognisant of the need to maintain a peaceful environment before, during and after the 2023 general elections” and “to place national interest above personal and partisan concerns”.
Former military head of state and retired general Abdusalam Abubakar claimed that a prior agreement, which was signed in September 2022, had been broken multiple times.
The National Peace Committee and the Kukah Leadership Centre, an Abuja-based think tank, organised the signing on Tuesday evening in the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari and other diplomats and world leaders.
According to committee officials, the agreement was designed to compel political parties, candidates, and their followers to use constitutional procedures if they are unhappy with election results.
Abubakar, the chairperson of the National Peace Committee, said 44 percent of the September accord’s violations “were carried out by the spokespersons for political parties, 26 percent by party members, 19 percent by the presidential candidates themselves, 11 percent by the hardcore supporters and four percent by the chairmen of the parties”.
“As a nation, we’ve got to put a stop to all this,” he said, without providing further details about the incidents.
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