A former Head of State and Chairman of the National Peace Committee, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has stated that those contesting the 2023 general elections have to sign a peace pact.
Abubakar, who made this known in Minna on Thursday after a meeting of the committee members, stated that during electioneering, politicians and their supporters create incitements which could endanger the nation’s peace.
“The pattern of public communication among political actors, their publicity agents, spokespersons, and media consultants have amplified the potential for personal attacks, insults, and incitement,” he said.
He added that the attacks by politicians and their supporters on their opponents had moved from issue-based campaigns, thereby relegating civility to the background.
“This has relegated to the background, the civility and decency in public discourse and debate. Additionally, it has shifted focus away from issue-based campaigns to consolidating identity politics and the politics of thuggery,” Abubakar said.
The peace committee chairman added that to promote peaceful electioneering, the committee had organised the signing of a peace pact.
“Because of this, there is a need to promote a culture of healthy issue-based campaigns and political communication. Consequently, the National Peace Committee has organised the signing of two peace accords for the 2023 general elections, ‘’ he said.
Abubakar stated that the first Peace Accord would hold on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, to commit all political parties, presidential candidates and their spokespersons to peaceful political campaigns and rallies devoid of violence, incitement and personal insults, but defined by issues at the heart of national development and progress.
“The second Peace Accord will come up shortly before the elections, and it is intended to commit candidates to accept the outcome of the votes as long as it is adjudged to be free, fair and credible,” Abubakar noted.
He further called on stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria is placed above regional and sectional interests.
“Therefore, the NPC calls on all Nigerians, politicians, political parties, security agencies, the election management body, Independent National Electoral Commission and all stakeholders to ensure that the country is placed above regional and sectional claims.
“The committee reminds all Nigerians the 2023 general elections will be an opportunity to serve and defend Nigeria, and to uphold her unity and progress. Nigerians should avoid the spread of fake news, and uphold the principles of tolerance, respect, civility and decency in all public and private conversations and engagements about the elections and the progress of Nigeria,” he said.