Nigerians from across the six geopolitical zones of the country on Tuesday in Abuja, signed a peace agreement to guard against violence in Saturday’s Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
The signing of the seven-point agreement was facilitated by Nigerians in Diaspora Integration Association (NIDIA) led by its President-General, Mrs Carol Nwosu.
Nwosu told newsmen that the agreement tagged: “Citizens to Citizens Peace Accord“ was aimed at committing citizens at the grassroots to peaceful conduct during and after the April 11 elections.
According to her, committing the citizens at the grassroots is crucial in view of the fact that they are the direct actors of electoral violence.
“We had the presidential agreements between our key players, President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
“But the people in this case, the grassroots who are the practitioners are the most important aspect of peace.
“It is not Buhari that is in the grassroots committing mayhem; it is not Jonathan razing or destroying property.
“There is so much gap between the Buhari-Jonathan accord and the people they are leading. To the people at the grassroots, there is no such thing as peace accord.
“As far they are concerned, Jonathan and Buhari signed for themselves, and that is why we are continuously having the violence level that we are having today.
“But we at the grassroots, are the ones doing the killings, burning of houses, snatching ballot boxes, burning INEC houses; we are the ones just doing about everything.
“It will be very effective if we now gather the way we have gathered here today and say `no more listening to any instruction from any quarters no matter who’.
“Whether it is my political godfather, spiritual godfather, my governor, my minister or my senator, if I say am not going to take instruction to destroy anything, I think the ball stops us there.“
Nwosu said that the peace agreement would be disseminated to the grassroots through the mass media, traditional rulers and leaders of grassroots organisations.
She explained that the zonal, state and local government coordinators of NIDIA would monitor its implementation to ensure compliance by the people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that key elements of the accord are peaceful conduct, refrain from inflammatory utterances, avoidance of monetary inducement, thuggery, hoodlumism and other negative behaviours during and after the elections.
The agreement also commits its signatories to self-comportment, the spirit of sportsmanship, patriotism and negation of the winner-takes-all attitude. (NAN)