Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, two of the country’s leading presidential contestants have inked an agreement, aimed at preventing any acts of violence by their supporters.
Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and his main challenger, ex-military ruler, MuhammaduBuhari, in the agreement, promised to accept the outcome of the Saturday polls, cautioning their individual supporters to rise above violence.
By all accounts, the latest non-violence pact by the two presidential candidates seeks to avoid a repeat of violence that effectively characterized that country’s presidential election in 2011, when bloody clashes involving rival supporters of both Jonathan and Buhari, left at least 800 dead.
Minutes after the signing of the non-violence agreement on Monday, the two presidential contestants shook hands in the clear and full view of their supporters.
Thursday, March 26, 2015,was thefinal day of campaigning. As part of efforts to ensure peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair elections, the government has closed Nigeria’s land and sea borders.
The meeting between President Jonathan and his main challenger, Buhari, came after Nigeria’s National Peace Committee, chaired by former military ruler; Gen. AbdulsalamiAbubakar,successfully brokered the deal in talks between the two men.
Gen.Abubakar,had earlier warned that campaigning had been marred by hate-speech that could trigger a crisis in the oil-rich state which, currently has Africa’s biggest economy.
For us, we are overwhelmed with joy that President Goodluck Jonathan and his main political rival, MohammaduBuhari, are pushing for nothing less than peaceful election comes Saturday.
We are further delighted by the nationalistic role being played by ex-military ruler, AbdulsalamiAbubakar, in ensuring a stable, peaceful and unified Nigeria no matter which of the two main presidential contenders emerged from the Saturday’s polls with flying colors.
Just as Gen. Abubakar, we too, in Liberia, are hoping for peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair polls in Nigeria and the subsequent orderly transfer of power to anyonewho wins the election.
Our position is informed by the indelible positive roles Nigeria has,
and continues to play in the restoration of not only peace and democracy
to Liberia but also the reconstruction and development of our post-war
After Liberia’s decade-long armed conflict that ended in 2003, it was one of Nigeria’s finest professional soldiers, Major General SurajAlao Abdurrahman (late) who led the new AFL from June 2007 to February 11, 2014.
With credit and distinction, Gen. Abudurramanpresided over the recruitment and training of the new AFL.
As in the words of one University of Liberia’s scholar, Gen. Abudurraman’sself-sacrifices, remain a glowing image in Liberia’s post-conflict military history.
Moreover, Nigerian teachers, have been in the vanguard as it relates to
the ongoing resuscitation process of Liberia’s educational system,
using their reservoir of their professional knowledge and experience to,
among others,contribute to the capacity buildingof Liberian students
and institutions over the years.
In many other spheres of life, including but not limited to health and diplomacy, Nigeria has proven to be an unwavering and reliable partner of Liberia.
Honestly put, relations subsisting between the two countries are not only mutually rewarding but also continue to grow fromstrength to strength in the best interests of their governments and peoples.
This is why we, at the FOCUS, have no iota of reservation to wish the friendly and peace loving people of Nigeria a credible, transparent, free and fair election which outcome would be embraced by all so as to move the country further towards genuine peace and development.