-UN commends the peace initiative
Concerned with the peaceful conduct of the 2019 general elections the Kano state governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has signed a Peace Accord alongside gubernatorial candidates from other opposition parties, Wednesday, in the presence of the special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Muhammad Ibn Chambas.
The event took place at the Convocation Arena, Bayero University, Kano, also in the presence of the National Chairman of the National Peace Committee, former Head of State, Gen. Abdussalami Abubakar (rtd), the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, leaders of the political parties in the state, civil society organisations, religious Clerics and community leaders.
Part of the objectives of the Accord include "To engage flag bearers of all political parties in the state to abide by the rules of engagement as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act 2010, as amended and to explore ways of advocating the importance of peace, before, during and after the 2019 general elections."
Another objective of the Accord reads "To monitor through the Kano Civil Society Forum, the political campaign activities of all the political parties and their candidates to assess their compliance with the provisions of the Peace Accord."
All candidates agreed, as part of the provision of the Accord "To run an issue-based campaigns at state, local government and ward levels," and without spreading hate speeches during campaign period.
They agree to support all institutions of government, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, to work without any partiality.
Agreed further that, they would do their best to suppress any violence or act of violence, in synergy with INEC, security agencies and all other stakeholders.
Ganduje signed the Accord at exactly 3:43pm. Ibn Chambas, the representative of the United Nations Secretary General extends the Secretary General's message that, "I bring you hearty season's greetings from the Secretary General who is very delighted that United Nations is supporting the National Peace Committee to sensitise and promote confidence building amongst stakeholders involved in the electoral process."
He expressed many thanks "...to the leadership of political parties in Kano state, especially the gubernatorial and state legislature candidates here present, INEC, members of the security services,
civil society organisations, religious and traditional leaders, the media and indeed all stakeholders, for demonstrating their commitment to the peaceful conduct of the 2019 federal and state elections before, during and after the polls."
To also show his commitment, governor Ganduje said "Whether there is election or no election, it is my constitutional responsibility, as the Chief Security officer of the state, to see that there is peace and it is maintained in the state."
Ganduje appeals to the Peace Committee to do their best in monitoring the activities of the parties during this period of electioneering campaign up to election period, "...any party that breaks any of the provisions of the Accord, then this Committee should contact the leadership of such erring elements."
To further encourage the process, he said "If I get the opportunity I will invite all the gubernatorial candidates to come to the State House and discuss with them ways on how to see to the successful implementation of the Peace Accord among us."
The National Chairman of the Peace Committee, Gen Abubakar, commended all those who participated in the signing of the Accord, urging them to abide by all the provisions of the agreement.
Emir Sanusi, after commending the organisers he also urged all the signatories to as a matter of utmost importance, act in accordance with the Accord agreement.
Professor Haruna Wakili, who spoke on behalf of the Committee commended governor Ganduje for his show of concern to the peaceful society, emphasising that, "Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has been supporting the process. He supports the entire process. We commend him for that."