President Muhammadu Buhari was present at the signing of the second peace accord by presidential candidates less than three days to Saturday’s poll.
This is as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his Labour Party’s rival, Peter Obi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar and 15 others on Wednesday participated at the peace accord ceremony which held in Abuja in the full glare of members of the international community.
Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and members of the National Peace Committee led by its chairman, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Bishop of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah also witnessed the event.
The event which attracted many members of the diplomatic corp and foreign observers also had former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta among other African leaders in attendance.
The presidential candidates by signing the peace accord had agreed to accept the outcome of the election.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented at the gathering by Kukah, said the peace accord is needed to deter candidates and their allies from using negative tactics to influence the election.
He said: “This (peace accord) is aimed at mitigating disinformation and misinformation during the election and in the time of the social media era.
“There is no other time than now given the considerable tension in the country as a result of the election. The election is not war. The country needs a stable democracy and the rest of the world looks up to us to get our leadership recruitment process right.”
The National Patriots also ensued for peace appealing to Nigerians to embrace peace as God fearing people who should know that nothing can be without the Will of Allah. Allah crowns Kings and we are all at his mercy. Nigerians should accept the will of God, both Christians & Muslims and eschew violence. All power belongs to God Almighty.
God the omnipotent, omniscient already knows who would win the election according to Nigeria’s destiny. Why fight God’s will? Humans do not have the intelligence to understand for what reason God gives power to whom He wants, we only need to submit ourselves to the will of Allah always. There is no point in fighting against the will of Allah, those who do so will fail woefully with regrets. Nigeria is a secular country and we vote our President not based on religion but on competence and capacity. The National Patriots regret the indiscretion of Presidential Candidates whipping up sentiments in the polity to divide Nigerians on religious lines. This is most unfortunate and selfish. Nigerians have never been so divided along ethnic and religious lines like in this 2023 political campaign. We read, watched videos of Pastors, self proclaimed men of God blackmailing, threatening the congregation and Christians to vote for a Candidate or face hellfire. That is against the spirit of Christianity and capable of dividing Nigerians for the next 30 years unless we embark on a vibrant healing process after the elections. Men of God should be warned to desist from this sort of divisive strategy as their primary responsibility is to encourage Christians to salvation for their souls, not politics. In future, INEC should prevent this sort of incitement which will resonate long after the elections if care is not taken. Such a Candidate who descended to this level, corrupting the Church, does not deserve to be trusted with power at the Presidential level. The uninformed congregation have been blackmailed to voting for him in order to go to heaven! The low literacy level amongst Nigerians made this possible.
We therefore have a lot of work ahead of us after the elections. We once again appeal to Nigerians to accept the results of the elections as the will of God, Allah and ignore those inciting ‘men of God’.
G.O of the Redeemed Church of Christ, PA Adeboye has directed his congregation to vote as they desire – that’s a true man of God who wants peace for the Nation. We appreciate and respect him. We wish Nigerians the best of luck in the elections and may the best, most suitable God approved man win.
As Patriots, we always put Nigeria first before anyone. We have evaluated all candidates and we have endorsed Tinubu. May God’s Will be done. Amen.
Princess Gloria Adebajo-Fraser MFR for National Patriots.