PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has given reasons for his absence at the peace accord signing ceremony which held in Abuja on the 11th of December.

While his main rival, President Buhari was at the ceremony, Atiku and many other presidential candidates were not in attendance.

The National Peace Committee, which organised the event, had said invitation was sent to all 73 presidential candidates contesting the 2019 elections.

Atiku’s spokesperson, Paul Ibe, this evening tweeted that the former Vice President was not invited to the ceremony.

In his speech, the chairman of the NPC, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd.) said that the peace accord was put together to ensure peace before, during and after the polls.

Abubakar also called on the candidates and political parties to abide by the provisions in the peace accord as they campaign.

“As political leaders, all candidates for political office must show example for their conduct and actions.You must lead by example by your attitude and conduct. Also by your speech and what you sponsored,’’ he added.

Some of the presidential candidates who were absent include Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressives Party (YPP), Oby Ezekwesili of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) and Omoyele Sowore of Action Alliance, according to Vanguard.

The Peoples Democratic Party also blamed a “communication lapse” for its candidate not being present to sign a deal with other candidates for peaceful elections.

Atiku Abubakar was a notable absentee at Tuesday’s ceremony in Abuja, at which President Muhammadu Buhari and dozens of other candidates vowed to ensure non-violence.

Voters would go to the polls to elect a new president and parliament on February 16 next year. Governorship and state assembly elections follow two weeks later.

Read Also: Fela Durotoye shades Buhari following the signing of 2018 Peace Accord

The Peoples Democratic Party said Abubakar was not at the event “due to (a) communication lapse between the National Peace Committee and our party’s national secretariat”.

But it added that both the party and Abubakar were “fully committed to a peaceful electoral process and elections in 2019”.

Abubakar, a former vice-president under Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, was known as a “global ambassador of peace”, it added in a statement issued on Tuesday night.

His spokesman earlier told AFP Abubakar was “not invited” to the event, which was organised by the National Peace Committee. Several other candidates were also absent.

But the committee’s chairman, former military ruler Abdulsalami Abubakar, denied any snub and maintained: “Everybody was invited.”

Security around polling is a recurrent concern in Nigeria, which has a history of violence stoked by identity politics, ethnicity and religion.

In 2011, some 1,000 people were killed after clashes between supporters of Buhari after his defeat to Goodluck Jonathan.

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