Why take the 2023 election seriously – Abdulsalami

The National Peace Committee (NPC) of the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar (retired), urged Nigerians to take this year’s general election seriously so that they can contribute to their success.

Abdulsalami gave the advice on Friday in Abuja at a meeting with the leaders of 18 political parties registered in their country for the presidency.

“I want to appeal to all Nigerians to appreciate the seriousness and significance of these elections. We have gone through many difficulties and survived them.

“The purpose of this initiative by the Peace Committee is to build up the confidence of our people in the electoral process and to ensure that we do all that is possible to ensure that these very crucial elections are successful.

“Our intention is to hear from the presidential aspirants themselves and see how we can rally all our people to ensure that all citizens are able to elect the leaders of their choice.

“It is impossible to have all contestants into one room and so, we hope that whatever we discuss here affects all contestants in these elections,” the NPC Chairman said.

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He recalled that on the 29th September 2022, the committee invited them for the signing of the Peace Accord at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.

He said, “You may also recall that we placed advertisements in all major newspapers and the social media calling on all Presidential candidates to be mindful of the concerns of Nigerians, on such issues are the need to use temperate language, avoid raising the tone of violence and to conduct themselves in a manner that does not undermine the electoral process.”

He said that the meeting was to listen to accusations and counter accusations, neither was is to trade blames but to raise issues and concerns so that the forum can explore the best means of resolving the concerns.

“I appeal to you all to be moderate in your language, show respect to the views and concerns of one another and listen to the concerns expressed. We are not here to find out who is wrong, but what is wrong and to see how to correct it.

“We are pleased that there are measurable improvements, and that INEC is assuring us that it has resolved some of the areas that have often caused violence.

“The security agencies have also continued to give us assurances. Our hope is that you can raise your areas of concerns and let us see what can be done to instill confidence in this process,” he said.

The meeting is currently in closed-door as the media and others not specifically meant for the meeting were asked to excuse the deliberations.

Abdulsalami, however, promised that the media would be briefed after the closed-door sessions.

…Drama

Before the meeting started, there was a bit of drama when the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) Omoyele Sowore protested against the seating arrangement.

It took spirited efforts by Gen. Abdulsalami to make Sowore to sit down, after he threatened to remain standing or leave the meeting if the NPC did not give assurance that there would not be a repeat.

“The arrangement of seats should be alphabetical, I saw that this happened at the ICC during the signing of the peace agreement and it is not fair,” he said.

General Abdulsalami who made the announcement, however, said Sowore could leave if he is not satisfied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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