FOR the second time, President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday, March 26, signed another peace deal pledging their support for violence-free elections.
Both Jonathan and Bahari are the leading candidates for the March 28, presidential elections. The meeting, held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, was facilitated by the National Peace Committee on 2015 Elections led by retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The two gladiators had signed a similar agreement alongside other presidential candidates on January 14. The agreement then was popularly called the Abuja Accord.
Just like the first meeting, they again shook hands and hugged each other at the venue. In signing the accord the two presidential candidates assured Nigerians and the whole world that the country was more important than their own aspirations.
The resolution of the accord signed by the two candidates and read by Mathew Kukah, a Catholic bishop, read in part: “Now that the campaigns have come to an end, we meet today to renew our pledge for peaceful elections. We therefore call on all fellow citizens of our dear country, and our party 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 the 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 renew 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.”
In his remarks, Abubakar thanked the two contestants and their aides for helping to reach the accord. “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,” Abubakar said.
Ondo Deputy Governor Dumps PDP for APC
BARELY two days to the presidential election of Saturday, March 28, Ali Olanusi, deputy governor of Ondo State, on Thursday, March 26, resigned his membership from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to join the opposition the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Olanusi, an indigene of Supare in Akoko South West local government area of the State, became the deputy governor of the state in 2009 on the platform of Labour Party before he defected alongside Governor Olusegun Mimiko to the PDP in October, 2014.
It was learnt that the governor and his deputy had been at loggerheads for so long, leading to rumours that the governor might engineer his impeachment.
Before he joined Mimiko’s governorship ticket, Olanusi had served as the PDP state chairman of the PDP.
Babangida Angry over Hate Campaign against Military
GENERAL Ibrahim Babangida, former military president, is very unhappy with some backers of President Goodluck Jonathan. Babangida’s anger is precipitated on his perception that some sponsors of the president were trying to undermine the military institution by embarking on mudslinging campaigns against former presidents and leaders of military background. The retired general who described the development as callous and wicked was apparently reacting to an alleged one-hour documentary aired by Silverbird Television on Tuesday night; March 24.
In a statement issued by his media office in Minna, the Niger State capital, on Wednesday, March 25, Babangida alleged that President Jonathan’s campaign handlers were out to demonise and stigmatise former military leaders and cast aspersions on them in order to malign their reputation. He claimed that the documentary “deliberately impugned the integrity of generals Olusegun Obasanjo; Muhammadu Buhari; my humble self, Ibrahim Babangida; the late Sani Abacha; Abdulsalami Abubakar and T. Y. Danjuma, all of whom have had the privilege of presiding over the affairs of this great country at various levels. It is either that those promoting the hate documentary are intellectually delinquent or they suffer memory loss; or a combination of both.”
He said the president’s supporters were only promoting hate campaign in order to undermine the modest contributions of the former leaders. He said their commentaries in the documentary against the former presidents left a sour taste in the mouth. He said: “Nobody is stopping anyone from campaigning for their preferred candidates contesting various positions in the elections, but to do that at the expense of the reputation, contributions, patriotism, loyalty and sacrifice of former presidents to the Nigerian state is, to say the least, immature.”
Buhari Survives Disqualification Scare
EFFORTS by opponents of General Muhammadu Buahri, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to prevent him from participating in the presidential election slated for Saturday, March 28, failed at a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, March 26. The court which was hearing all the suits challenging the eligibility of Buhari to contest in the March 28 polls, adjourned further hearing of the case to April 22 and 23.
This means that the court will not make any judicial pronouncement on Buhari’s eligibility until after the general elections slated March 28 and April 11.
In making the decision, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, said that the court had to take into consideration the coming Easter holiday and the judges’ conference that would follow. Ademola solely took the new dates without asking for suggestions from lawyers to the parties.
The plaintiffs in all the suits want the court to declare Buhari ineligible to contest in the presidential election on the ground that he did not submit copy of his school certificate along with his Form CF001 to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, thereby contravening sections 131 and 318 of the 1999 Constitution and section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010.
— Apr. 6, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT