Nigerian presidential candidates sign peace deal ahead of elections – WGMD

Nigeria’s presidential candidates on Thursday signed an agreement pledging to campaign peacefully for the 2023 elections.

Almost all of the 18 presidential candidates signed the pact at an event in Abuja, the nation’s capital, where authorities also rolled out plans to ensure a smooth election. Similar peace agreements have been reached in every general election cycle since 2015.

Some form of violence usually accompanies general elections in Nigeria. At least 58 people died in election-related incidents in 2019, according to a coalition of civil society groups.

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Former Nigerian head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar, who heads the National Peace Committee, said the pre-election agreements nevertheless “contributed significantly to mitigating the violent conflicts of these elections”.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is due to leave office in May after completing his second term and has promised a peaceful vote to elect his successor.

But next year’s election has been described as “a battle for the soul” of Nigeria, at a time when the country faces various security and economic challenges that have resulted in the loss of lives and made life more difficult. difficult for many.

Nigeria’s economy, security and governance emerged as major topics of discussion in the campaigns.

Abubakar identified fake news and disinformation as one of the “issues of major concern” ahead of the 2023 elections, saying the spread of fake news has “diverted attention from issue-based campaigns and created the platform form allowing political parties to come up with names”. call… and character assassination.

The peace agreement signed on Thursday aims “to engage all political parties, presidential candidates and their spokespersons in peaceful political campaigns and rallies, free from violence, incitement and personal insults. but also defined by issues at the very heart of national development and progress,” he said.

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the campaign agreement is important “given the link between peaceful campaigning on the one hand and peaceful and credible elections on the other.” .

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Nigerian Police Chief Usman Baba said the law enforcement agency will work with election and government officials to ensure a peaceful political campaign. He also banned personnel from various sub-national security teams – many of which operate at state and council level – from election-related activities.

The Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria estimates that at least 90 million voters will participate in the elections.

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