42 political parties give conditions for fresh peace accord

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Atiku

About 42 political parties have threatened to shun the fresh peace accord scheduled for Abuja, tomorrow.

Ahead of the presidential election on  Saturday, February 16, the 42 political parties have handed down eight conditions that must be included in the document before they sign.

It also emerged, yesterday evening, that former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, has cancelled his visit to Nigeria.

He was expected to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

Clinton, according to the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Peace Accord Committee, was expected to deliver a keynote address at the fresh peace accord signing slated for the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.

But, a statement by Clinton’s spokesman, Angel Ureña, regretted the former president’s visit might be politicised in a way that is not in line with the goals of the committee.

Ureña said: “This is a crucial time in Nigeria, and president Clinton is hopeful that the election’s outcome reflects the will of the Nigerian people. Over the course of the last several days, and after various conversations with different stakeholders, it’s become apparent that president Clinton’s visit to Nigeria has the potential to be politicised in a way that is not in line with the goals of the committee. Therefore, he will not be traveling to Abuja.”

Regardless,  the 42 parties’ position was contained in a statement signed on their behalf by the Chairman of Action Peoples Party, Imo Ugochinyere; National Chairman of Alliance National Party, Mashood Shittu; National Chairman, People’s Coalition Party, Anthony Harmattan; and National Chairman, Action Alliance, Kenneth Udeze.

They said: “The conditions are that it must be included in the accord that security agencies should not arrest leaders of the opposition parties few hours to election, as was done in Osun governorship election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies must not exclude opposition parties’ agents from collation venues, from Polling Unit to the final collation level.

“It would be a breach of the accord for any security agency to arrest agents of opposition parties or stop them from accessing the venue of election and collation.

“Accreditation must be done with party agents physically monitoring the identification of the voters.

“INEC should be allowed by security agencies to do their work without interference in accordance with Electoral Act, 201, as amended.

“No result shall leave the polling unit without being announced and pasted on the wall, in accordance with the Electoral Act, as amended.

“Politically-motivated police postings should be discontinued and reversed like the case of the posting of the former security aide of (All Progressives Congress chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu , Kayode Egbetokun, as Kwara Commissioner of Police.)

“INEC must ensure unrestricted access to agents of parties fielding candidates to the situation room and pilot phase of e-collation at all levels of collation up to national headquarters to ensure transparency.”

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