• Friday, June 14, 2024
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Tinubu absent as Atiku, Obi, others sign peace accord

Tinubu absent as Atiku, Obi, others sign peace accord

Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate was conspicuously missing at the signing of the peace accord for peaceful campaign organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC), for presidential candidates in Abuja on Thursday.

While Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party among others were around to sign the pact, Tinubu was represented by his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

Tinubu is currently in the United Kingdom where he reported to have left for on Sunday to meet with some of his groups.

Abdusalami Abubakar, former head of state and chairman of the NPC appealed to the 18 political parties, their presidential candidates as well as spokespersons to stick to issues-based campaigns in order not to threaten the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections.

In his remarks, Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it will vigorously monitor compliance to ensure that politcal parties shun abusive, intemperate or slanderous language as well as insinuations or innuendos likely to provoke a breach of the peace during the electioneering campaigns.

Yakubu said it will also closely monitor compliance with the limits on campaign spending under the Electoral Act, 2022, stressing that there are sanctions provided by law.

He said political parties and candidates should study and familiarise themselves with the electoral legal framework to avoid any infraction of the law and the unhappy consequences that will follow any act of misdemeanour.

The INEC chairman said it was not enough to simply sign the peace accord, what was more important is to abide by its letter and spirit, and urged political parties and their candidates, to pass the message to all their members and supporters across the country for compliance.

“The 2023 General Election will be conducted for 1,491 constituencies nationwide made up of one Presidential constituency, 28 Governorship elections, 109 Senatorial Districts, 360 Federal constituencies and 993 State Assembly constituencies. Every constituency is important. Every election is important.
Therefore, the commitment to peaceful and issue-based electioneering campaign should resonate beyond the 18 Party Chairmen and Presidential candidates present here today.

Read also: Can signing of peace accord guarantee violence-free election in Edo?
“It is not enough to simply sign the Peace Accord. What is more important is to abide by its letter and spirit. You should similarly pass the message to all your candidates, members and supporters across the country for compliance. This will be your own way of showing appreciation for the work of the NPC and an affirmation of your contribution to electoral peace in Nigeria.

“Today, the NPC is taking another giant step by inviting parties and candidates to commit to peaceful electioneering campaigns. This is important considering the connection between peaceful campaign on the one hand and peaceful and credible elections on the other, The Commission appreciates the positive role of the NPC in the progressive improvement of our elections in Nigeria.

“The Electoral Act 2022 provides for campaign in public by political parties to commence not earlier than 150 days before polling day. Accordingly, campaign by political parties for the 2023 General Election officially commenced yesterday Wednesday 28th September 2022. This will continue until 24 hours before polling day i.e. 23rd February 2023 for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) and 9th March 2023 for State elections (Governorship and Houses of Assembly).

“The implication is that for the next 148 days, political parties, candidates and their supporters are free traverse the country holding meetings, rallies, processions and door-to-door campaigns. They will grant interviews, sponsor indoor and outdoor advertisements and publish other campaign materials. This is often a delicate period characterized by excitement and anxiety,” he added.