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We’ll Accept Outcome Of Credible Polls – Buhari, Atiku

Posted by:- || Date:- February 14, 2019 || Time:- 11:30 am || Under:- Local News || Tags:-


President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have agreed to accept the outcome of free, fair and credible elections.

Buhari, Atiku and other candidates in the February 16
presidential election also pledged to ensure that the polls are
conducted peacefully while signing a peace accord at the International
Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja yesterday.

The event, organised by the National Peace Committee under the

chairmanship
of a former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, was witnessed
by foreign observers including the Secretary General of the
Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland; former Liberian President and leader of
the ECOWAS observation team, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Others are
former president of Tanzania and leader of Commonwealth Observer Group
Jakaya Kikwete, as well as former president of Botswana and head of
Democratic National Institute and Republic National Institute, Festus
Moghai.

Let’s commit ourselves to the accord – Buhari

Speaking
after signing the accord, President Buhari said “We, the Presidential
candidates are here to sign and commit ourselves to do all that is
possible to ensure the success of the elections but most importantly to
accept the final outcome.

“I appeal to my fellow contestants to
commit to these ideals so as to keep our country and people safe. The
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), our electoral umpire,
has already assured us that they have done everything possible to ensure
free and fair elections.

“It was to ensure this that I made sure
that INEC received all the resources they needed to perform their job.
Our security agencies have been fully briefed and they know that their
visible neutrality is key to the conduct, credibility and success of the
elections.”

The president, while calling for prayers for the
country, urged Nigerians to contribute to the building of a viable
polity by more active participation beyond the casting of votes.

“Let
us use this opportunity to strengthen our beliefs in a united country.
Our elections are important only to the extent that they make our
country peaceful and prepare us for development. “Elections by
themselves do not constitute Democracy. It is the spirit of citizenship
engagement that utilizes the energy of citizens towards the attainment
of good governance,” he said.

He appealed to youth not to allow
themselves to be used to cause violence, noting that “We will vote
according to Parties, but in the end, the only real Party is Nigeria,
our country.”

We must abide by will of the people – Atiku

Also
speaking, Atiku said “every candidate must remember that this election
is about the future of Nigeria, therefore, we must abide by the will of
the people as freely expressed through elections, under the terms of our
constitution.”

Quoting former President Goodluck Jonathan’s
statement, “My ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian,” Atiku
said the statement remains a benchmark for him, taking into account the
deep feelings that prevail as the election approaches.

“Hopefully,
our democracy should emerge stronger from this process with the 2019
elections proving better managed than the 2015 process, which was
adjudged free and fair with the then opposition’s victory unobstructed.

“Consequently,
I also appeal to the President, General Buhari, to use his good office
to ensure that every eligible person who casts their vote is confident
in the process and in the belief that their vote will count.”

He appealed to INEC and the Nigeria Police Force to be fair arbiters in the upcoming elections while letting neutrality prevail.

“Once
again, despite concerns expressed by my party leaders concerning likely
electoral malpractices and the intimidation of voters and observers, I
trust that our election officials and security services will do their
duty in accordance with their oath and obligations. In conclusion, I
appeal once again, to our citizens, to go out and cast their votes for
the candidates of their choice, to be peaceful at all times, and
confident in our democracy, its institutions and processes,” he said.

Look beyond electoral gains, Abdulsalami tells candidates

Abdulsalami
said “As leaders of political parties with extensive followership, you
have the potential to help build peace and keep it, but on the other
hand, you also have the potential to create and fuel conflict in the
polity. You must not do anything to make a bad situation worse. You must
lead by example.”

He added that “First, the election itself will
not hold in the absence of a peaceful atmosphere. Second, and equally
important, governance after the election would be impossible without a
peaceful environment, third the disharmony among political parties
hinders all developmental efforts.

“While winning elections may
be a matter of competition between political parties, winning the war
against development is a matter of cooperation between them. And unless
we accept that the electoral competition, no matter how intense, must
not be at the expense of cooperation among political parties, we are
going nowhere.”

The former head of state defined electoral
conflict/violence as “any act of threat that seeks to harm, intimidate,
abuse or, otherwise, blackmail any participant through seeking to
influence, delay or change, the outcome of that electoral process.”

He urged INEC and the security agencies to abide by their oath of office.

“Today
what is coming from our mosques and churches is nothing but unfounded
incitement. This must be controlled and curtailed because for us to
conduct these elections successfully and in peace, every one of us must
be bound by the dictates of truth, decorum and good conduct,” he said.

Gowon: Counsel your supporters against violence

Also
speaking, former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon urged the candidates to
counsel their supporters against violence and intimidation.

“Speak directly to your supporters, let us have peaceful elections and let us respect the observers,” he said.

Speaking
on behalf of the country’s traditional rulers, Chairman, Bayelsa State
Traditional Rulers Council, Amanayabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred
Diete-Spiff, urged the candidates to place the survival of the country
above their ambitions.

Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II was also at the event.

Africa depends on healthy Nigeria – Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mrs. Patricia Scotland, said the strength of Africa depended on a healthy Nigeria.

According
to her, the Commonwealth was elated over the decision of candidates
taking part in this year’s general elections to sign a peace accord to
guarantee a peaceful and fair contest.

“Nigeria was a treasured
member of the Commonwealth family where things must not be allowed to go
wrong because of the wider implications for the rest of Africa. When
Nigeria is healthy, vibrant and strong, the whole of Africa is
strengthened,” Scotland said.

She said millions of people across
the world are praying for Nigeria and its people hoping that the
forthcoming election will hold peacefully.

She noted that
Saturday’s election will be the sixth since 1999 when the country
returned to democracy after military rule and expressed hope that the
poll will entrench and build on the gains achieved since 1999.

According
to her, for those born after 1999, this year’s election will be the
first time to exercise their right and determine who rules Nigeria and
that all concerned should not fail them by ensuring a credible and
transparent election.

“The signing ceremony holding today
(yesterday) is fully in line with commonwealth values. The world is
holding their breath because Nigeria is the largest economy with the
largest population in Africa. It is a burden that Nigerian leaders
gathered here today carry. We call on their party, supporters and public
to follow their lead. Elections will come and go, but this great
Nigeria will remain,” she said.

Also, the EU Ambassador to
Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Ketil Karlsen, urged INEC to ensure that voters
were able to cast their votes without fear or intimidation. He said that
what is good for Nigeria is also good for the world.

On his
part, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General
for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said the eyes of
the world are on Nigeria and thus actors in the elections must play by
the rules.

Source:- Dailytrustng


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