THE presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, has signed the 2019 general election peace accord while asking President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider his decision on the Electoral Amendment Bill which he has refused to sign into law.
The official ceremony where presidential candidates of the various political signed the peace accord, held on Tuesday, but Atiku did not attend the event, saying later that he was not invited.
On Wednesday, however, Atiku signed the accord at the Kukah Leadership Centre in Abuja, and the brief ceremony was witnessed by the chairman of the National Peace Committee, Abdulsalami Abubakar, and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassa-Kukah.
“I commend the President for accepting to sign the peace agreement. But let me also advise him to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill”, Atiku said after signing the pact.
Some of the persons that were present at the brief ceremony on Wednesday also expressed their displeasure with the National Peace Committee, for allowing only President Buhari and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to deliver speeches during the ceremony held on Tuesday.
Usman Ikeleji, the Chairman of Change Nigeria Party (CNP), said the committee demonstrated “partiality by not given the other party chairmen the chance to speak. According to him, not even the chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council 9ipac), Peter Ameh, was allowed to speak.
“Why was only the presidential candidate of the APC allowed to speak at this occasion? Is Buhari the only presidential candidate here? Nigeria belongs to all of us.
“Why should Oshiomhole be singled out at the event when we have equal status as chairmen of political parties? We came here and can’t be allowed to speak? Who owns Nigeria?
“It is our country. You can’t just bring us here and ask us to sign a document we don’t even know the content. These men are deceiving us.
“Nobody was allowed to talk not even the Chairman of Inter-party Advisory Council. We are talking about peace here and they won’t allow us to speak? Are we children?”
At this, Abubakar said he takes responsibility for the error, and pleaded with the political parties to forgive him.
Some of the people that accompanied Atiku to the Kukah centre on Wednesday were the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who is also the Director General of the Atiku campaign organization.
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) December 12, 2018
Earlier on Wednesday, Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education and presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), was also at the Kukah Centre to sign the peace accord. She, too, was not present at the official ceremony on Tuesday.