Former Nigerian head of state and chairman of the National Peace Committee Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar has said that all political parties and their presidential candidates were invited for the signing of a peace accord on Tuesday.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar was absent, however, said, there was a lapse in communication.
Abubakar spoke during in an interview with newsmen in Abuja at the International Conference Centre (ICC), the venue of the signing of the accord.
Asked if Abubakar was invited, Gen Abubakar said the PDP candidate 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,” the retired army general said.
Abubakar, however, said that he was not worried that a political party or a candidate was not there to sign the accord.
“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,” he added.
Reacting to the development, the PDP in a statement issued by its national publicity secretary Kola Ologbondiyan said its candidate was absent due to communication lapse between the National Peace Committee (NPC) and the party’s national secretariat.
The party said it was already conducting investigations into the circumstances that could have resulted in the 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 fulfil all necessary obligations toward the peace accord ahead of the 2019 general elections,” Ologbondiyan said.
Other presidential candidates absent at the signing of the peace accord were Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party, Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressives Party and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress.