Top presidential candidates on Wednesday signed a peace accord pledging to ensure a violence-free election.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, were among those who signed the peace accord.
A previous accord had been signed by the presidential candidates December last year.
Wednesday’s signing ceremony took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Also present at the peace accord signing is Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Abdulsalami Abubakar, the chairman of the National Peace Committee.
Patricia Scotland, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth; Mathew Kukah, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, as well as other members of the National Peace Committee (NPC), were in attendance.
Bill Clinton, former US president, had pulled out of the accord, following the cancellation of his visit to Nigeria less than 48 hours to the event.
Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, was also present at the ICC to witness the historic event.
Speaking at the event, Atiku said the Nigerian democracy has matured over the years, with the support of the international committee.
The chairman of the national peace committee, former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, said the committee decided to organise the peace accord signing in order to ensure peaceful conduct of all elections in the country.
Mr Abdulsalami in his welcome remarks said elections will not hold in the absence of peaceful atmosphere.
He said even governance after the election will not be possible without a peaceful environment.
“Don’t do anything to make a bad situation worse,” he said.
The former head of state said disharmony among political parties retards Nigeria’s development.
“Without cooperation among political parties, we are going nowhere,” he said.
Mr Abdulsalami reminded the presidential candidates that by signing the peace accord, they are committing themselves to ensuring a peaceful election in Nigeria.
“Elections will come and go, but this great Nigeria will remain,” Patricia Scotland said.