By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; General Mohammadu Buhari , the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC and twelve other presidential candidates at the February 14 election have signed an undertaking to make the poll violence free.
The other candidates include, Tunde Anifowose Kelani of Action Alliance (AA) Dr. Rafiu Salau of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Ganiyu Galadima of Alliance Congress (AC), Alh. Mani Ibrahim Ahemad of ADC, Chief Sam Eke of Citizens Popular Party (CPP) Ambros Albert Oworu of Hope Party, Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya of KOWA party and Chief Chekwas Okorie of Unity Progressive Party (UPP).
The letters and the spirit of the undertaking otherwise called “Abuja Accord” by the organizers of the event tilted “2015 General Elections: Sensitization workshop on Non-Violence” essentially barred the contestants in the election from making incisive speeches that could cause the eruption of violence of whatever guise before, during and after the elections.
The accord reads thus: “We the undersigned Presidential candidates of the under-listed political parties contesting in the General Elections of 2015;
“Desirous of taking proactive measures to prevent electoral violence before, during and after the elections;
“Anxious about the maintenance of a peaceful environment for the 2015 general elections;
“Reaffirming our commitment to the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria; Desirous of sustaining and promoting the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria as an indivisible entity;
“Determined to avoid any conduct or behavior that the will endanger the political stability and national security of Nigeria;
“Determined to place national interest above personal and partisan concerns; and Reaffirm our commitment to fully abide by all rules and regulations as laid down in the legal framework for elections in Nigeria hereby commit ourselves and our party to the following:
*To run issue based campaigns at national, state and local governments levels; in this, we pledge to refrain from campaigns that will involve religious incitement, ethnic or tribal profiling, both ourselves and agents acting in our names;
“To refrain from making, or causing to make our names or that of of our party, any public statements, pronouncements, declarations or speeches that have the capacity to incite any form or violence, before, during and after the elections;
*To commit ourselves and political parties to the monitoring of the adherence to this accord by a national peace committee made up of respected statesmen and women, traditional and religious leaders;
*All institutions of government including INEC and security agencies must act and be seen to act with impartiality; and
*To forcefully and publicly speak out against provocative utterances and oppose all acts of electoral violence whether perpetrated by our supporters and/or opponents.”