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Buhari, Atiku, Others To Sign MoU On Campaigns, Hate Speeches – Abubakar

Ahead of 2019 general election, The Chairman of the National Peace Committee, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), on Wednesday said presidential candidates and national chairmen of all political parties in the country would sign a peace pact ahead of the 2019 general elections, Punch reports.He said the Memorandum of Understanding that would be signed by those concerned was meant to prevent violence and hate speeches during campaigns.

Abdulsalami, a former military Head of State, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja after a closed-door meeting his committee had with a delegation from the Independent National Electoral Commission, led by its chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu.

He said the peace pact would be signed during a meeting scheduled for Thursday (today).

The former military leader expressed worry over the security situations in the country, especially the heightened security problems in the North East and violence in Rivers State.

He said members of his committee decided to invite the INEC chairman to brief them on preparations for the elections, the commission’s challenges and how to conduct successful elections.

He added that from the briefing, the committee is considering some flash points in states where INEC wanted intervention.

He said, “The next stage is that we are going to meet with the chairmen and secretaries of political parties tomorrow (Thursday) in order to discuss also and listen to them so that we can see how we can make progress.

“After the meeting with the political parties, we are going to draw a Memorandum of Understanding for peace and tranquility and this, we hope will be signed by all the presidential candidates and the chairmen of the registered parties.”

He advised Nigerians to embrace peace, saying there could not be development in an atmosphere of rancour.

“Our people should realise that peace is very paramount in any society, there must be peace before we conduct elections, there must be peace before we have a country.”

When asked to state the flashpoint from his assessment of the security situation in the state, Abubakar said, “In particular, we have a problem in Rivers State and some other areas where problems are emerging.

“So, we will try to see how we can nip the problem in the bud. And you can help us to also give us information where you think we should intervene. It is not only INEC that has that responsibility but all Nigerians have roles to play here.”

Abdulsalami also expressed worry over the security situations in the North-East, saying it was necessary to contain the situation so that INEC officials’ lives would not be endangered.

He said he was convinced that INEC was being well funded to carry out its tasks, adding that the task at the moment was for political parties to get their acts together.

 

PUNCH

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