Nigeria: 68 Days After, Tinubu Yet to Sign Peace Accord for Presidential Candidates

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Bola Tinubu is yet to sign the peace accord for the presidential candidates put together by the National Peace Committee (NPC) exactly 68 days after other presidential candidates signed the agreement which symbolised their commitment to free and fair election, THISDAY learnt yesterday.

Attempts to find out why Tinubu was yet to sign the peace accord wasn’t successful last night, as the Minister of State for Labour and Employment and the spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign organisation, Festus Keyamo, who promised to get back to THISDAY did not before press time.

The NPC is co-led by former Head of State, General Abudulsami Abubakar; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar II; Cardinal John Onayeikan; Bishop Hassan Kukah and other eminent statesmen, with the objective of supporting efforts at ensuring free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.

THISDAY gathered that although the vice presidential candidate of the APC, Alhaji Kashim Shettima represented Tinubu at the ceremony in September, when other presidential candidates signed the peace accord, he wasn’t allowed to sign on behalf of the former Lagos State governor.

Owing to this, an agreement was reached with the NPC that Tinubu who was out of the country then would pen his signature whenever he returns to the country.

However, THISDAY learnt that since then, Tinubu has not made efforts to sign the peace accord.

All chairmen and presidential candidates of the registered 18 political parties had signed the peace accord under the guidance of officials of the NPC at a ceremony witnessed by a large audience at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

A member of the NPC confirmed this to THISDAY on conditions of anonymity.

“On that day the NPC made it very clear to the Chairman of the APC that our doors are open for him to come and sign when he (Tinubu) returns. After all, it happened with Atiku in 2019. He (Atiku) was not at the event in 2019, but he turned up the next day to sign. I also recall that Oby Ezekwesili was not there as well, but they all turned up the next day to sign.

“So, as far as the NPC is concerned, our doors are open. We fixed the day and anybody that was absent can always come back to sign. We didn’t allow the vice presidential candidate to sign because there was no space for his vice to sign. What we have on the form was only the names of the presidential candidates and the chairmen of the parties. The policy is that nobody can sign for somebody in proxy,” the source explained.

When asked if the NPC has reached out to Tinubu since his return from London, the source said: “It is not our responsibility to reach out to anyone. The chairman of the APC was there, the vice presidential candidate was there and so we are not under obligation to be chasing anyone about.

“After all, when Atiku didn’t sign on that day in 2019, it was same APC that were up in arms. So, it not our business. We as members of the peace committee, we have only moral authority, our doors are open.”

Tinubu has also shunned invitations and opportunities to participate in town hall meetings or debate in the country outside that that are organised by his political party.

The NPC is a non-governmental initiative conceptualised in 2014, in response to emerging threats occasioned by the 2015 general election. Since then, the committee has emerged as one of the leading lights and credible organisations in Nigeria’s democratic journey. It is an initiative made up of eminent elder statesmen who undertake efforts to support free, fair and credible elections as well as intervene in critical issues of national concern through high-level mediated and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

At inception, NPC had an urgent, broad-based mandate to make modest contributions towards the smooth and peaceful conduct of the 2015 elections, devoid of any breakdown of law and order before, during and after the electioneering process. Consequently, its core mandate is: to observe and monitor compliance with Abuja Accord signed by the political parties during elections; to provide advice to the governments, both federal and states and INEC on resolution of political disputes and conflicts arising from issues of compliance with the Abuja Accord; to make itself available for national mediation and conciliation in the case of post-electoral disputes or crises; and to ensure peaceful outcome of general elections that is acceptable to the generality of Nigerians and the international community.

Some other members of the committee include the Executive Chairman, Geregu Power Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola; former defence minister and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yahale Ahmed; former Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General Martin Agwai; founder of Channels Television, John Momoh; Director at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Miss Idayat Hassan; Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe; Priscilla Kuye; Archbishop Nicholas Okoh; Mr. Brown Ade; Mr. Sam Amuka; Yakubu, among others.


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