Presidential Candidates Sign Pact To Avoid Violence During Polls
The presidential aspirants for the February 14 poll and the leaders of their political parties signed an undertaking to avoid actions that could endorse violence during and after the elections.
It should be noted that key presidential candidates General Muhammadu Buhari from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shook hands and embraced after receiving remarks renouncing violence.
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Other political parties that signed the non-violence pact comprised the Action Alliance, AA, Alliance for Democracy, AD, United Democratic Party, UDP, United Progressive Party, UPP, African Democratic Congress, ADC, and Hope Democratic Party, HDP.
President advised politicians to avoid actions and subjects capable of inflaming passion among the body of voters.
According to Jonathan Nigeria must avoid a repeat of the 2011 post-general elections which he said was adjudicate the best in the country’s history.
He added the conduct of the poll cannot be accused of the outbreak of violence since he even lost in the states were clashes erupted causing hundreds of deaths.
Jonathan said: “You cannot say there were malpractices because in Kano, we got only 15 percent of the votes. In Bauchi, I got 15 percent of the votes. Even in states where we got 80 percent in places considered as opposition, we did not experience any violence.
“What leads to violence is not necessarily due to electoral malpractices. There are other causes of violence.
“What leads to electoral violence in Nigeria and other African countries can be categorized into three factors. One of the key things is the provocative statements we make and when we are making these statements the younger ones are listening, followers are listening. We threaten our opponents."
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APC presidential candidate in his turn asked for the strengthening of democratic institutions in Nigeria. Buhari said before every polls, there is usually amendment to the Electoral Act making difficult to cheat the nation.