As campaigns officially commence for the 2023 general elections, presidential candidates have signed a peace accord in Abuja, the nation’s political capital.
The Chairman of the National Peace Committee and former military head of state, Abdusalami Abubakar, appealed to the 18 political parties, their presidential candidates, and spokespersons to commit to issues-based campaigns, as fake news and misinformation are already creating a toxic environment that is capable of threatening the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Some members of the National Peace Committee at the programme include Bishop Hassan Kukah, John Onayeikan, John Momoh, Aliko Dangote, as well as Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar. The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, amongst others.
Some of the presidential candidates at the event include Labour Party’s Peter Obi, Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar, New Nigeria Peoples Party’s Rabiu Kwankwaso, and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress.
However, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was absent but his running mate, Kashim Shettima, was seen on the programme. Also, APC’s national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, was seen at the event.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, has decried the idea of signing a peace pact ahead of the 2023 presidential election, saying it signifies that the country is at war.
I don’t know why we’re signing this peace accord when we are not at war. This signifies that Nigeria is at war. Elections are a war in this country.
The AAC candidate made this assertion in an interview with Arise TV on The Morning Show, monitored by our correspondent on Thursday.
Sowore, who noted that he was not against the peace accord, said he would sign the peace pact to show the people that he subscribed to peace.
For the sake of symbolism of this, I will show up there, and sign whatever they want so that the people can understand that I subscribe to peace during the election and after the election.
Recall that a former Head of State and Chairman, of the National Peace Committee, Abdulsalami Abubakar had stated that politicians contesting the 2023 general election are required to sign a peace pact.
Abdulsalami made this known last Thursday, September 22, in Minna, Niger State, after a meeting with the committee members.
According to him, politicians and their supporters create incitements which could endanger the country’s peace during electioneering campaigns,
The pattern of public communication among political actors, their publicity agents, spokespersons, and media consultants has amplified the potential for personal attacks, insults, and incitement.
The Chairman added that the attacks by politicians and their supporters on their opponents:
Have relegated to the background, the civility and decency in public discourse and debate. It has shifted focus away from issue-based campaigns, to consolidating identity politics and the politics of thuggery.