By Aderele Ijelu
IBILE.TV NEWS – Political parties are to sign peace accord agreement on December 11, it was learnt yesterday.
This was agreed after a meeting in Abuja between the Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar-led National Peace Committee and registered political parties.
The meeting is aimed at ensuring peace before, during and after the 2019 general elections slated for February 16 and March 2, 2019.
The committee met with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday on the preparedness of the electoral body and promised to help address some of its challenges.
Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Matthew Hassan Kukah said after extensive discussions, the parties agree to ensure a peaceful elections.
Bishop Kukah noted that the parties also agreed to adopt the principle of 2015, as a template ahead of the general polls.
He said: “We discussed the theme of trust as a key ingredient in the conduct of our affairs. In the end, we have resolved to adopt the same principles that guided the very successful 2015 elections and therefore commit ourselves to run issues-based campaigns at national, state and local government levels.
“In this, we pledge to refrain from campaigns that will involve religious incitement, ethnic or tribal profiling, both by ourselves and by all agents acting in our names.”
The parties are also expected to commit themselves to monitoring the adherence to the provisions of the peace accord and to support institutions of government and the security agencies to act and be seen to act with impartiality.
Under the initiative, the committee said the political parties and politicians are to forcefully and publicly speak out against provocative utterances and oppose acts of electoral violence, whether perpetuated by supporters or opponents.
In his remark at the meeting, Abubakar admonished them to help stem election violence and the growing practice of hate speeches.
He cautioned the parties and their candidates on the need to ensure a successful and rancor-free campaign.