Fifty governorship candidates including three women on Wednesday signed the peace accord to promote peaceful coexistence before, during and after the general elections.
The event was organised by International Republican Institute, IRI, in conjunction with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and USAID, in Sokoto.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the three women candidates are; Luba Muhammad of National Conscience Party, NCP, Aliya Sa’idu-Kebbe, Kowa Party and Salamatu Isa-Abdullahi of Peoples Progressive Alliance, PPA.
In his address, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, commended the initiators and underscored the importance of peaceful coexistence for overall development of the nation.
Mr Tambuwal cautioned politicians against breeding restiveness in all forms, as some bad elements could use armed youths for other crimes in the state.
He noted that in the last three days, bandits attacked some communities where 26 persons were killed adding that such barbaric activities should be discouraged.
“Nigerians are yearning for peaceful coexistence, therefore, for supporting younger ones on the path of thuggery, may not certainly be good for the nation.
“If we encourage youths to attack innocent people, business environments, the society will be endangered.
“I urge fellow contestants and other politicians not to use vulgar and inciting languages, not to consider election as a `do-or-die’ affair.
“The election is a process which has different stages and leadership is a destiny which Allah has destined to individuals He wishes,’’ Tambuwal said.
He urged candidates and politicians to sensitize their followers to practice the political game in accordance with the law and not to disrupt peaceful coexistence of the country.
The governor called on INEC to ensure transparency in the electoral processes and consider the compliants raised by some participants to restore peoples’ confidence in them.
He commended security agencies on their roles in safeguarding peoples’ lives and properties.
Mr Tambuwal thanked the stakeholders on the initiative and called on the participating agencies and persons to respect the peace accord.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Occasion, Bishop Mathew Kukah, said the initiative was in line with global best practices, aimed at sustaining peaceful coexistence in the country.
Mr Kukah said the peace accord initiative was to discourage violence in all forms, facilitate credible election and good leadership that would be beneficial to citizens.
He explained that violence have marred many developmental programme and as such, Nigerians needed to rethink and change their attitudes.
The Sokoto state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Musa Abubakar, commended stakeholders on their cooperation and hoped that the peace accord be actualised for the overall progress of the nation.
NAN reports that all the candidates signed the document and assured to abide by the conditions enshrined in the peace accord.