More presidential candidates in the 2019 election have claimed they were not invited to the national peace accord meeting on Tuesday.
Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Omoyele Sowore of Action Alliance told TheCable that they received no invitation regarding the programme which held in Abuja.
Responding to enquiries on the matter, Duke said “we did not get any invitation” while Sowore also noted that he was “not invited”.
Apart from the duo, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) were also absent.
Ezekwesili and Moghalu did not pick calls and are yet to respond to text messages sent by TheCable to determine why they were absent.
Just like Duke and Sowore, Atiku had also said he was not invited to the programme which had President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance.
However, the National Peace Committee, which organised the event, had said invitations were sent to all 73 presidential candidates contesting the 2019 elections.
Abdulsalami Abubakar, chairman of the committee, had said there was no reason to exempt any of the candidates and that “if there is a break down of communications somewhere, I don’t know”.
WHY IS THE PEACE DEAL IMPORTANT?
Abubakar said the objective of the peace deal was for all political parties to “sign to be of goodwill and good behaviour during elections”.
A similar accord was signed in the build-up of the 2015 elections, with the major presidential candidates committing to a peaceful poll and to also accept defeat.
The accord is believed to be a major contributor to the relatively peaceful conduct of the election that year.
Among the commitments at the meeting was: “To forcefully and publicly speak out against provocative utterances a d oppose all acts of electoral violence whether perpetrated by our supporters and/or opponents.”