The National Peace Committee has expressed concern over what it called “the deterioration in the communication of fundamental issues among the politicians since the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, lifted the ban on political campaigns on September 28th, 2022. “
The committee in a statement, tagged:”Towards Peaceful Election Campaigns”, released Monday evening, said its members have watched with utter sadness and deep concern, the actions of candidates and political parties since suspension on campaigns was lifted by INEC.
In the statement signed by Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Converner and Chairman, National Peace Committee, respectively, the committee regretted that despite committing themselves to upholding peace before, during and after the general elections, by signing its initiated peace accord, candidates and their political parties have not kept to their tenets of the peace accord.
It reminded them that Nigerians expected that as men and women of honour, they were committed to keeping their words.
According to the committee,” The political actors cannot pretend to be oblivious of the content of the Peace Accord that they signed.”
The statement read in full:” The Members of the National Peace Committee, NPC, have watched with utter sadness and deep concern, the deterioration in the communication of fundamental issues among the politicians since the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, lifted the ban on political campaigns on September 28th, 2022.
“A day after the ban was lifted and in response to a call by the NPC, the Presidential Candidates and their running mates met and participated in the signing of the Peace Accord at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
“Since its successful outing preceding the 2015 Presidential Elections, the signing of the Peace Accord has become embedded in our electioneering campaigns.
“ Over the years, the event has elevated the level of trust and confidence among ordinary Nigerians in the Democratic process. Some have even called for the institutionalisation of the process into our democratic process due to its moral significance.
“The NPC has continued to maintain its partnership with the INEC to deliver peaceful elections in our country. The international community has taken very keen interest in the development and progress of our country on the path of democracy.
“ For this reason, the NPC has continued to work with and receive high level delegations from Europe and the United States of America interested our elections. Their passion, concerns and commitment in our democracy are genuine and we find this very encouraging. We should therefore know that the world is watching us.
“We appreciate the fact that the President and Commander in Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari in collaboration with the National Assembly have shown their commitment to ensuring the successful elections.
“ On our part, we, the members of the Peace Committee, are also encouraged by the progress and innovation that INEC has continued to make under the leadership of Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
“All Nigerians can testify to this development by the successes recorded in the peaceful conduct of the off-cycle elections in Edo, Ondo, Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states. We are not where we want to be yet, but we are right to assume that we can do more.
“Nigerians are genuinely concerned, troubled and disappointed by the conduct and attitude of some of the political actors in the last few weeks.
“ Nigerians have been fed a menu of intemperate language, intimidation and outright violence in the field of the campaigns.
“It is evident that some of our actors have not learnt any lessons from the past. There is an increasing tone of desperation, if not incitement, among some of the contestants and members of their parties.
“ Intra and inter party wranglings still persist, with occasions of violence. In desperation, some selfish political actors use these strategies to pursue their frivolous ambitions in the courts.
“When all the Presidential candidates and the Party Chairmen signed the Peace Accord, they were committed to infusing a sense of decency, civility and nobility in the political process.
“The political actors cannot pretend to be oblivious of the content of the Peace Accord that they signed. Nigerians expect that as men and women of honour, they were committed to keeping their words.
“The Security agencies have continued to do their best as they monitor security developments across the country. We continue to encourage them to ensure that the right environment is created for, peaceful elections. During the signing of the Peace Accord, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Baba Usman called attention to the fact that the federal government does not recognize any of the many security outfits that have mushroomed across the country. We call on the law enforcement agencies to enforce the law with the understanding that everyone will be held accountable for their actions, no matter their status.
“ We wish to call on the Media to remain focused in managing information. The social media is with us and it can be a tool for good if only we decide to use it for peaceful purposes. Citizens must be more discreet in the kind of information that they circulate on various platforms. Individuals must take responsibility for what they read. We encourage the Youth to be more restrained and to use their numbers well so as to guard their future.
“We call on all the candidates to rein in their Spokespersons and those who claim to represent them and their parties in the public media. All candidates will be held responsible for what is said on their behalf or of their party. Aggressive and abusive language only diminishes the integrity of the individuals, their candidates and their parties. Nigerians should be ready to punish instigators of violence by isolating them or their candidates.
“We call on the federal and state governments to ensure a level playing field for all parties in the course of the campaigns. Access to federal or state facilities must be open to all candidates as long as they meet their financial and other commitments to using the facilities. It is morally wrong to abuse the power of incumbency by subverting the efforts of those who are in opposition to the status quo. Parties and citizens do not lose their rights because they are opposed to the party in power. All citizens are above political parties.
“Finally, we call on fellow citizens to appreciate the global trends around the world and Africa and their impact on the future where resources are becoming scarce. Nigerians must appreciate the huge resources committed to elections and do everything possible to ensure its integrity. May God the creator of Heaven and earth continue to guide our country and hear our prayers for peace, prosperity, and progress.”
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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