Buhari, Atiku, Other Presidential Candidates Sign Second Peace Accord


President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and other candidates have signed a second peace accord ahead of Saturday’s presidential election.

The presidential candidates signed the agreement on Wednesday at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Those who witnessed the signing included the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland; former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd); Bishop Mathew Kukah, as well as other members of the National Peace Committee (NPC).

Addressing the gathering shortly after the arrival of the guests, General Abubakar who is also the Chairman of the NPC urged political parties to function as effective actors for peace before, during, and after the elections.

He also called on them to adopt a code of conduct that would promote a peaceful process devoid of rigging.

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The former Head of State asked the candidates to use the remaining days left to speak directly to voters and supporters, pleading with them to avoid violence.

According to him, the importance of this is to ensure that there will be no need for Nigeria to invite foreign observers in the future.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, as well as former Presidents of Liberia, Tanzania and Botswana among others at the event give goodwill messages.

On the part of the candidates, President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) called for prayers as the nation goes into the elections in a few days.

The President who is seeking a second term in office also made an appeal to the youths to eschew all forms of violence.

He stressed that the important thing was for candidates to accept the final outcome of the elections, noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission has assured the people of a free and fair exercise.

In his address, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku, quoted former President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

He, however, urged the electoral umpire to be fair arbiters for neutrality to prevail.

Atiku equally asked security agencies not to embark on indiscriminate arrests of key officials, days or hours before the elections, saying that was the case in some bye-elections.

He also urged the President to do everything within his power to ensure that the vote of every eligible person counts.

All the presidential candidates had earlier signed the first part of the peace accord in December last year.

President Buhari was accompanied to the signing ceremony by the APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, and some top government officials.

Similarly, the PDP National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus and the Director-General of PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Senator Bukola Saraki, among other party leaders accompanied Atiku to the event.

Highlights of the event are captured in the pictures below;

Voting Starts In Central African Republic

central-african-republicVoters in the Central African Republic (CAR) are going to the polls to elect their next President and lawmakers who are expected to restore a stable government after years of violence.

Thirty presidential candidates are vying to replace interim leader, Catherine Samba-Panza.

United Nations (UN) peacekeepers hope to stop a repeat of the violence during a referendum on a new constitution.

The CAR has been torn by sectarian violence since the Muslim Seleka alliance seized power in March 2013.

A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-Balaka, then took up arms against the Seleka.

ECOWAS Asks Nigeria’s Presidential Candidates To Respect Constitution

GHANA-CEDEAO-KUFUORThe Economic Communities Of West African States (ECOWAS) has appealed to Nigerians and all the major gladiators in the Nigeria’s presidential election to be calm and show understanding and respect to the constitution, as the oil rich nation prepares for its general elections.

The President of the ECOWAS, Mr Kadre Ouedraogo, made the appeal at a meeting with Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja on Monday.

At the meeting, Mr Ouedraogo presented a document he called the findings and recommendations of the commission towards a peaceful conduct of elections to President Jonathan.

According to him, the ECOWAS has been monitoring situation in Nigeria following the postponement of the election date and has been meeting with the major presidential candidates to intimate them on their findings.

The meeting with the ECOWAS President came after President Jonathan had met with the European Union observer group led by Mr Santiago Fisas.

President Jonathan assured the group that the May 29 handover date was sacrosanct.

The leader of the EU election observer group, Mr Santiago Fisas, told reporters that they were in the presidential villa to exchange views with the president about the elections.

He said that the group had met with the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Mohammadu Buhari.

The president also told the EU commission that there was no room for interim National government as being speculated in some quarters saying that those who are talking about that were just being mischievous.

“That is not the agenda of government,” president Jonathan said.

President Jonathan was apparently referring to a statement made by a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, about a plan for an interim government.

Addressing a gathering in Ogun State, after he withdrew his membership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party,  Obasanjo said: “Anybody in his right senses talks of interim government. Where is it in our constitution? But some of them are working for it. God will not allow them”. 

Presidential Candidates In Nigeria Sign Violence-free Accord

Muhammadu_Buhari_and_Goodluck_JonathanThe presidential candidates of all the political parties in Nigeria have signed an accord to prevent electoral violence before, during and after the February 14 elections.

The signing ceremony took place in Abuja on Wednesday in a sensitisation workshop on non-violence elections.

It had in attendance President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Professor Oluremi Sonaiya of the KOWA Party amongst others.

The accord also stipulates that the institutions engaged in the conduct of the February elections must be seen to be impartial throughout the conduct of the elections.

In his speech at the opening of the workshop, President Jonathan identified what he called ‘threats and provocative statements’ by the leaders of political parties, as some of the reasons the followers take to violence during and after elections and warned that Nigerians should shun politics of bitterness.

The top contenders in the presidential election had to put-off their presidential campaigns scheduled to hold on Wednesday to sign the accord to abide by the rules and shun violence in all its ramifications.

It was a significant event and an indication that peace must be paramount in the country that witnessed post-election violence in 2011.

A former Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr Kofi Annan, was at the event.

He joined other speakers to remind the presidential candidates of their responsibilities which he said included seeking for solutions to Nigeria’s problems and avoiding inflammatory statement.

A former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku and a former United Nations representatives, Ibrahim Gamba also attended the event.

The electoral umpire wondered why elections were prone to violence in Nigeria.

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Atahiru Jega, pledged to conduct the elections on a level playing field for all the parties. He asked the political parties to make an undertaking to also play by the rules.

The presidential candidate of the APC is running for the fourth time. His experience is harrowing as he called on the judiciary, the INEC and political agents to be weary of their conducts.

For the incumbent president and presidential candidate of the PDP, Dr Jonathan, abusive, provocative comments and threats were issues the political leaders should guide against.

He also called on the INEC to be transparent while he questioned the character of some politicians, stressing the need for a review of the winner takes it all syndrome in Nigerian politics.

The signing of the accord was supervised by Mr Emeka Anyaoku, an accord he stressed that all of them must abide by.

An APC President Will Tackle Nigeria’s Infrastructural Challenge – Tinubu

TinubuA leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, says the party will tackle the infrastructural challenge in Nigeria if voted into power in the 2015 presidential election.

Senator Tinubu was speaking at Ewohimi, in Esan South East Local Government Area on Sunday while commissioning the General Hospital built by the Edo State government in that community.

In his speech, the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said the state government would engage the services of five consultants to man the hospital.

He said that the hospital would help provide quality healthcare services to indigenes of the state living within the area.

The hospital is part of the party’s infrastructural development plan to make healthcare available to all Nigerians, one area that the former Lagos State governor, Senator Tinubu,  said the party would also focus on if voted into power in 2015.

The APC on December 11 elected General Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential candidate of the party.

General Buhari will contest against the ruling party’s candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan.