MINNA: Ahead of the 2023 elections, the National Peace Committee headed by the Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has fixed September 29 for the signing of peace accords by political parties and their presidential candidates.
The Chairman, General Abdulsalami Abubakar who addressed Journalists after a meeting at his residence in Minna, Niger State on Thursday also called on political parties and their supporters to engage in the issue based campaigns rather than attacking their opponents.
The meeting which lasted for over 2 hours had in attendance, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Reverend Father Hassan Mathew Kukah, the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the former columnist with Daily Trust, Mohammed Haruna, the Etsu Nupe among other members of the committee.
General Abubakar revealed that the National Peace Committee had fixed September 29 for the signing of the first peace accords at the International Conference Centre, Abuja to commit political parties, presidential candidates and their spokespersons to peaceful political campaigns and rallies.
He said the second peace accord which would be signed shortly before the elections is to commit candidates to accepting the outcome of the votes as long as it is adjudged to be free, fair and credible.
The Committee in a communique jointly signed at the end of the meeting by the Chairman, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Convener, Reverend Mathew Hassan Kukah and Head of Secretariat, Atta Barkindo lamented that 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, thereby relegating to the background, the civility and decency in public discourse and debate, adding that it has shifted the focus from issue-based campaigns to consolidating identity politics and the politics of thuggery.
The committee called for promotion of a culture of healthy issue based campaigns and political communication.
Also Speaking to Journalists, The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu urged the media to assist in sensitising political parties, their supporters and electorates in achieving peaceful conduct of elections in 2023.
He said the commission would to engage with the National Peace Committee and relevant organisations to ensure that electorates exercise their voting right without fear or intimidation.