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HomeBattaFilesANALYSIS: Will Signing Of Peace Accord Stop Election Violence? 

ANALYSIS: Will Signing Of Peace Accord Stop Election Violence? 

The presidential candidates of 18 political parties contesting in the Feb. 25 election, on Wednesday, signed a pact towards a peaceful poll.

The candidates met in Abuja for the landmark event. The four major contenders – Bola Tinubu (APC); Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP), and Peter Obi (LP) were present. 

The first peace accord was signed prior to the commencement of campaigns in September  2022. It was signed to oblige the candidates to a peaceful campaign.

The second was for commitment to a peaceful conduct of the 2023 presidential election.

Members of the peace committee present include General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Bishop Matthew Kukah, and Dr John Momoh, CON. Others were the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, and former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, leading the Commonwealth Election Observer Group.

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Violence has become the norm in Nigeria’s politics. The Human Rights Watch said no fewer than 800 people were killed in three days of violent attacks across 12 northern Nigerian States in 2011 after the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as president.

About 100 deaths were recorded in 2015 and 2019. This was despite candidates signing peace accords. 

The thuggery that marred the last primary elections led to the death in different parts of Nigeria. The implication of the act is that it instils fear amongst the electorate and everyone involved in the electoral process. Thuggery also leads to the violation of human rights and fosters a political culture that rewards violence instead of competence.

According to Nigeria’s laws, election violence is punishable with not more than four years imprisonment or a fine of ₦500,000 or both.

The Nigerian Military has warned politicians against inciting violence as the 2023 general elections draw closer. The Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, said that any political thug caught during the electioneering period or on election day would be dealt with.

“For anyone who is looking forward to being elected, he must do it within the ambit of the provisions of the law. Because we will not in any way, stand aside and see those who perpetrate violence all because they are looking for political offices or appointive offices,” he said.

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