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Tinubu’s Absence At Peace Pact Signing Sparks Outrage As Buhari Wants Issue-based Campaigns, No Personal Attacks, Incitements

The absence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the signing of the peace pact on Thursday has sparked outrage, especially Nigerians in the digital sphere.

This is just as President Muhammadu Buhari welcomed the initiative undertaken by the National Peace Committee to commit all political actors to issue-based campaigns devoid of incitement, personal insults and attacks.

Although Tinubu was represented by his running mate, Kashim Shettima, his absence stirred indignation with human rights activist, Aisha Yesufu, via her Twitter handle stating: “No way should anyone be signing a peace accord on behalf of anyone! Bola Ahmed Tinubu has to sign for himself.”

A user of the microblogging platform, @VictorIsrael_ wondered why the APC vice presidential candidate would be present at the ceremony while asking about the whereabouts of Tinubu.

He tweeted, “Peter Obi, Atiku and Kwankwaso are present live at the National Peace Accord in Abuja. But what is Shettima doing there? Is he the presidential aspirant for the APC? Where’s Tinubu? Where’s BAT? A proud and unhealthy man has no place in our Villa.”

The Twitter user, @mavisikpeme while reacting to the APC presidential candidate’s absence at the event also posted, “Tinubu is never present when it’s necessary. Peace accord signing, all presidential candidates are gathered except Bat who is not well represented by Shettima

“If this does not send a strong message to Baticians, I don’t know what will. Where is BAT?? Say no to proxy!!”

Meanwhile, Buhari, in a video-message to the signing of the 2023 election Peace Accord by the presidential candidates, organised by the National Peace Committee, on Thursday in Abuja, the President warned that the rise of fake news and misinformation have continued to pose a significant threat to democracy in Nigeria.

The President said fake news and misinformation have shifted focus away from issue-based campaigns to amplifying the potential for personal attacks, insults and incitements.

He added that this has significantly diminished the civility and decency in public discourse and debate.

Reiterating his commitment to peaceful, credible and transparent elections, President Buhari said what the Peace Committee, led by its chairman and a former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubukar, has been doing over the years, aligns with his belief that Nigeria needs peace in order to achieve credible elections.

”The 2023 election is more than an election, it is an opportunity to serve Nigeria, to defend Nigeria and to uphold her unity and progress,” the President said re-echoing the words of the Chairman of the Peace Committee, last week. 

He continued: ”Therefore, I call on all Nigerians, political parties, politicians, security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and all stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria is placed first above regional and sectional claims.

”I appeal to the contestants, especially their publicity agents and media advisers to shun personal attacks, avoid insults and incitement, reject the spread of fake news, and commit to issue-based campaigns and political rallies.

”Once again, let me emphasise that everything must be done to support the National Peace Committee in its work to ensuring peaceful elections in Nigeria.”

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