Don Counsels Against Boycott Of Signing Second Peace Accord.

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BOYCOTT SECOND PEACE ACCORD SIGNING – DON URGES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES, PARTIES

By Dr. Bisi Olawunmi.    

A university don has urged presidential candidates and leaders of political parties in the country to boycott the so-called second peace accord signing ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, 13thFebruary, 2019, in Abuja, describing it as superfluous.

In a statement on Monday, 11th February, 2019, Dr.  Bisi Olawunmi stressed that the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee (NPC) is over-reaching itself by trying to compel Nigerian presidential election candidates to sign a second peace accord before the so-called ‘international community’ as umpires. 

In a full page advert in ‘The Nation’ newspaper of Monday, February 11, 2019 announcing the accord signing ceremony, Gen. Abubakar had stated : ‘’The event is to ensure that all parties accept the result of the elections as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’’. ‘’It is intriguing why candidates should be railroaded into forfeiting their right to legally challenge the election result where they felt there were glaring irregularities’’, Dr Olawunmi declared. He questioned the morality of havingformer U.S. presidentMrBill Clinton, as an attester of good electoral conduct in Nigeria considering that the possible validation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election regarded as the country’s freest and fairest got eventually thwarted with the death of the presumed winner, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, in controversial circumstances, in the presence of his (Clinton’s) emissaries in Abuja on July 7, 1998.

 The American delegation, led by Mr. Thomas Pickering, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and at the time the third ranking official at the State Department, had met Abiola on the fateful July 7, after earlier meeting Gen. Abubakar, during which the chief  was fed tea and thereafter suddenly collapsed and died. The delegation had included U.S. assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, Susan Rice and the then U.S..ambassador to Nigeria, William H. Twaddell. According to Dr. Olawunmi, a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, it isinsensitive for the ex-military leader, Gen. Abubakar, under whose regime Abiola died, to have invited former President Clinton during whose presidency the Abiola saga took place to come and play witness to another presidential electoral contest in the country. It will amount to crass political naivety for the nation’s political class to  exhibit such unpardonable political amnesia by presenting themselves before Mr. Clinton to sign an accord for good behavior.

Dr. Olawunmi, a former Washington correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) also recalled that the Commonwealth Secretary-general at the time was a member of the international community who came to persuade Chief Abiola to renounce his mandate which the chief refused. Current Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, is the second of Gen. Abubakar’s Special Guest of Honour to witness the peace accord signing ceremony.  

    

The National Peace Committee, he statedshould feel embarrassed that after moderating the first peace accord on December 11, 2018, it still felt the need to get the international community to legitimize what can be regarded as its patriotic duty in initiating the first accord.

People who have been privileged to hold high public office in the country should demonstrate a sense of national pride and not take actions which, wittingly or unwittingly, reduce the country to a banana republic status before the world.

Dr. Bisi Olawunmi, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, Adeleke University, Ede. Osun state, is a former Washington Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria and Fellow, Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email: olawunmibisi@yahoo.com

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