President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed his readiness to meet and sign another peace accord with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to further emphasise his total commitment to a violence-free election on Saturday.
He stated this when he met with former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar and other members of the National Committee on Peaceful Elections over issues bordering on the 2015 general elections.
The committee is also billed to pay a similar visit to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
At the meeting, Jonathan who restated his total commitment to ensuring peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria on Saturday and April 11 said the federal government will not tolerate any form of violence during or after the polls that could reverse the gains of the present democratic dispensation in the country.
He urged all political parties, their candidates and supporters to approach the elections with more patriotism and a greater willingness to place the larger interest of the country above personal ambitions.
According to him, the federal government has worked very hard over the years to promote strong democratic institutions that will sustain the country’s democracy and will not tolerate any form of violence during or after the polls that could reverse the gains of the present democratic dispensation.
The president said, “My cardinal principle has always been that the ambition of any Nigerian is not worth the blood of anybody. I am not a violent person and I don’t tolerate violence in any form. I don’t believe that violence can be used to achieve anything meaningful in life.
“I am giving my total commitment to peaceful elections in the country, not because I am persuaded to do so, but because I believe in it”.
Accordingly, he called on religious and political leaders, community heads and other senior citizens in the country to condemn incidents of electoral violence, such as the stoning of opponents.
The chairman of the National Committee on Peaceful Elections, Gen. Abubakar, commended the president for his consistency in insisting on peaceful, free and fair elections in the country at all levels.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Abubakar noted that the committee had been talking with the candidates contesting various political offices to call their supporters to order regarding the level of calumny that characterised their campaigns ahead of the polls.
Asked whether he was comfortable with the political environment, Abubakar said, “You tell me; you are the people talking and we are listening from you. But from what we have seen, this campaign has been filled with campaign of calumny.
“We have talked with all the contestants, party leaders to try to get their supporters and campaign committee to please try to ensure for God’s sake let us not make these elections personal.
“There shouldn’t be any insults let us not play politics of bitterness and I do hope they have listened to us and they are working as much as they can, so they told us.”
On why they met with the president, the former Nigerian leader said, “As you are aware early this year both President Jonathan and Gen. Buhari signed a peace accord in other to ensure there is peace during, before and after elections. As a result of that accord a peace committee was set up to ensure free, fair and violence-free elections 2015.
“You can see all of here members of the committee, we have come to one see Mr. President as the commander-in-chief of the country and to tell him what we have discussed with all the stakeholders and the role he as the commander in chief has to play and also what we expect him as a contestant in this race”.
Noting that Jonathan assured them of free and fair polls and that they would meet with the APC presidential candidate, he said, “So this is why we have been here this afternoon, we have briefed him and he has given us his assurance of conducting free, fair and violence-free elections. And this is what this committee is all about.
“Tonight or tomorrow morning we will meet with Gen. Buhari for the same purpose, we will get commitment to ensure that the followers, the politicians and indeed all Nigerians make sure that there is free, fair and peaceful elections”.
Other members of the delegation were Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd.), Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Prof. Zainab Alkali, Sam Amuka-Pem, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye and Justice Rose Ukeje.
leadership News – Culled from: http://leadership.ng/news/420257/im-ready-to-sign-another-peace-pact-jonathan