The heated rivalry between the APC and the PDP in the build up to the 2015 general elections has continued to trigger serious concerns amongst many Nigerians.
However, with news just reaching us indicating that President Goodluck Jonathan met with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) this morning in a move to sign another peace accord, Nigerians might be in line to witness a violence-free election on Saturday, March 28.
The president yesterday expressed his readiness to meet and sign another peace accord with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated this in a meeting 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.
According to President Jonathan, his willingness to sign another peace pact further emphasizes his total commitment to a violence-free election on Saturday.
However in a meeting, which took place at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja and was supervised by the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections headed by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Jonathan and Buhari renewed their peace accord reassuring the world of their commitment to a violence-free presidential election on Saturday.
In what was titled "Renewal of Our Pledges to Peaceful Elections", they also pledged to respect the outcome of free, fair and credible elections.
They called on all Nigerians and their supporters to refrain from violence and acts capable of jeopardizing their collective vision of free, fair and credible polls.
Jonathan and Buhari also called on the INEC and the security agencies to ensure strict adherence to their constitutional roles.
The renewed accord was read by Bishop Hassan Kukah thus: "You may recall that on 14th January 2015, both of us, long with nine other party leaders signed what has now come to be known as the Abuja Accord. The substance of that accord was our commitment to free, fair and credible elections in our dear country. In the accord, we agreed to, among other things, run an issue-based campaign and pledged that our electoral campaigns will not involve any religious incitement, ethnic or tribal profiling, both by ourselves and all agents acting in our names.
"Now that the campaigns have come to an end, we met today to renew our pledge for peaceful elections. We therefore call on all fellow citizens of our dear country, and our part supporters, to refrain from violence or any acts that may in any way jeopardise our collective vision of a free, fair and credible election.
"In addition, we call on INEC and all security agencies to ensure strict adherence to their constitutional roles. We also pledge to respect the outcome of free, fair and credible elections.
"Today, we again renewed our commitment to a united, democratic and prosperous Nigeria. We want all Nigerians to stand together at this critical phase of our nation's history.
"Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless you all. Signed by Jonathan, Buhari and Abdusalam Abubakar."
In his remarks, Abubakar said the peace committee was set up after the Abuja Accord signed by both Jonathan, Buhari and other presidential candidates on January 14.
He said his committee had been working round the clock to help political parties and Nigerians to ensure peace and harmony before, during and after the elections.
He said "Mr. President was kind enough to see us yesterday (Wednesday), one he is the President of the country and secondly he is a contestant. And this morning Gen. Buhari despite his late arrival last night or early arrival this morning, was kind enough to meet with this committee.
"In essence, all the meetings were held to brief them the current situation of the country and what we expect of them as stakeholders and as presidential candidates. I want to thank both the president and Gen. Buhari for finding time to meet with the committee. And I want to thank both party chairmen for the support received in trying to send this message of peace.
"I'm happy both parties, the contestants, are committed to free and fair elections, free of violence. And this morning a document to reiterate their commitment for this peaceful and for the forthcoming elections".
Earlier this year, all presidential aspirants for the March 28 poll and the leaders of their political parties signed an undertaking to avoid actions that could endorse violence before, during and after the elections.
It was also reported that the key presidential candidates General Muhammadu Buhari from the APC and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan from the ruling the PDP shook hands and embraced after receiving remarks renouncing violence.