Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has yet to sign the Peace Accord with about 46 days to the presidential poll.
The leadership of the National Peace Committee (NPC) on Monday said it was still awaiting Tinubu to sign the Peace Accord which aims at encouraging the peaceful conduct of the election.
Despite claim by the APC that its candidate was represented by the party’s national chairman who signed the Peace Accord on his behalf, the space allotted to the APC presidential candidate to sign remains empty.
However, while clarifying the situation, a member of the NPC, Rev. Fr. Atta Barkindo, said yesterday that the committee as a matter rule does not allow vice presidential candidates or party chairmen to sign on behalf the presidential candidates.
He said all the candidates that have so far signed the peace agreement did so in person, not through any representation.
When asked if Tinubu signed or was represented during the ceremony held last September, Barkindo said: “APC presidential candidate didn’t sign our peace accord. We don’t allow proxy.”
He, however, said that the doors of the NPC were still open, urging those interested in signing the Peace Accord to do so.
On whether the candidate could still approach the committee to sign the accord after the designated day, Barkindo stressed that the doors of the committee remains open, adding that any candidate who is interested can come to their office and sign the document.
However, when contacted Tinubu’s Media spokesman, Mr. Tunde Rahman, he said the former Lagos State governor was away from the country on the day the Peace Accord was signed.
He said his absence was duly communicated to the committee and that the national chairman of APC, Alhaji Adamu was empowered to signed for Tinubu.
Rahman said: “When the peace accord was signed, Asiwaju was not in the country and the APC chairman and vice presidential candidate attended and party chairman signed on behalf of Tinubu.
“There was no information that he was expected to come and sign again when he returned to the country.”
He added: “There was an issue about whether a VP should stand for the presidential candidate or not, but that it was decided that the chairman or any officer of the party can attend and sign the peace document.”
The NPC is co-led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar II; Cardinal John Onayeikan; Bishop Hassan Kukah and other eminent statesmen, with the objective of supporting efforts at ensuring free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
The NPC is a non-governmental initiative conceptualised in 2014, in response to emerging threats occasioned by the 2015 general election.
Since then, the committee has emerged as one of the leading lights and credible organisations in Nigeria’s democratic journey.
It is an initiative made up of eminent elder statesmen who undertake efforts to support free, fair and credible elections as well as intervene in critical issues of national concern through high-level mediated and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.