Buhari, Atiku, others sign peace pact on poll outcome

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President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday pledged their commitment to violence-free elections and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure free, fair and credible polls.

Buhari, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress and Atiku, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Saturday’s presidential poll, made the pledge at the signing of the National Peace Accord at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

According to the President, the 2019 elections present Nigeria the opportunity to show the world it has matured politically after conducting one of the most peaceful elections in 2015.

He said, “I am not saying this because I was blessed to emerge as the winner. I am saying there has been a lot of fear and anxiety within and outside Nigeria about the future of the country. We are hopeful that this is evidence that we are all maturing in our disposition towards electoral outcomes.”

The President praised the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, and his members for their contribution towards peaceful elections in the country.

He added, “To all our citizens, I want to thank you. As we go into the elections in a few days, please let us pray for our country. Let us use this opportunity to strengthen our beliefs in a united country. Our elections are important only to the extent that they make our country peaceful and prepare us for development.”

Buhari added, “I am making a special appeal to our young people. Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence.

“We will vote according to parties, but in the end, the only real party is Nigeria, our country.”

Atiku echoed former President Goodluck Jonathan’s comment ahead of the 2015 presidential election that “my second-term ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian”, saying he was against violence.

He said, “My ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

“I appeal once again to INEC and the police to be fair arbiters in the upcoming elections, while letting neutrality prevail.

“For emphasis and in the spirit of fair play, I also urge our security agencies not to arrest of members of the opposition indiscriminately 24 or 48 hours before elections, as has been the case in the previous elections.”

He added, “Consequently, I also appeal to the President, General Buhari, to use his good offices to ensure that every eligible person who casts their vote is confident in the process and in the belief that their vote will count.”

Among the personalities at the event were former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, former Botswana President Festus Moghai and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland.

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