By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Former Head of State and Chairman, National Peace Committee, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has said that all political parties and their presidential candidates were invited for the Tuesday signing of peace accord in Abuja.
Abubakar disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja at the Inter National Conference Centre (ICC) , the venue of the signing of the accord.
Asked if the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar was invited, Abubakar said that Atiku would answer the question by himself.
“But speaking for the National Peace Committee, everybody was invited. What reason do we have not to invite somebody?
“This accord was called for all political parties to sign to be of good behaviour during elections. Either there is a breakdown of communication somewhere I don’t know.’’
Abubakar, however, said that he was not worried that political party or a candidate was not there to sign the accord.
He said that any political parties and their candidates not at the occasion still had opportunity to sign it later.
“What surprises me is that when we had the first meeting with political parties to come out and agree on this agenda, the parties agreed and it was on that day the decision was taken to sign the accord today.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Atiku was not present at the signing of the peace accord.
Reacting to the development, the PDP said it was not represented at the signing of the accord due to communication lapse between the National Peace Committee (NPC) and the party’s national secretariat.
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secreatry, Kola Ologbondiayan, said that the party was already conducting investigations into the circumstances that could have resulted in the unfortunate communication lapse.
“Nevertheless, it is instructive to state that our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the party are fully committed to a peaceful electoral process and elections in 2019.
“Our Presidential candidate is known worldwide as a global ambassador of peace, who will always support processes that will engender peace in our country and the world over.
“In the same vein, our party is also known for peaceful conduct in all activities, electoral processes and all elections conducted at all levels in our country, since its inception in 1998.
“The PDP will therefore visit the office of the National Peace Committee, look into the peace document and fulfill all necessary obligations toward the peace accord ahead of the 2019 general elections,’’ Ologbondiyan said.(NAN)