President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) of the All Progress Congress (APC), have renewed the peace accord commitment ahead of the tomorrow’s presidential election.
Both men met yesterday morning behind closed doors at the Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, before jointly signing the document in the presence of members of the committee and the media comprising international and local press.
The meeting was made possible by the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar -led National Peace Committee on 2015 Elections.
The chairmen of the two leading political parties, Adamu Muazu of the PDP and John Odigie-Oyegun of the APC were also present at the ceremony.
The two leading presidential candidates renewed their peace accord pledges for peaceful elections. Both men called on all citizens and their party supporters, to refrain from violence and any act that could in any way jeopardise the collective vision of a free, fair and credible elections. They, in addition, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all security agencies to ensure strict adherence to their constitutional roles and pledged to respect the outcome of free, fair and credible elections.
On January 14, both men alongside other presidential candidates, signed what is now famously known as the Abuja Accord, which they renewed yesterday to re-assure the world and make Nigerians understand that this country is more important than their own aspirations and that people should live and reflect the ideals.
Abubakar in his remarks, said the peace committee was set up after the Abuja Accord signed by both President Jonathan and Gen. Buhari.
He said: “This 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 on the current situation of the country and what we expect of them as stakeholders and as presidential candidates.”
A joint statement issued by President Jonathan and General Buhari ahead of the presidential elections, read in part: “You may recall that on January 14, 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 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.
Asked by newsmen if with the renewed peace accord, he would accept the result, he replied: “Go and read the statement. There is a caveat. The only thing that will make me accept the result is if it is free and fair”.