National Peace Committee Charged to Speak on 2023 Elections

The National Peace Committee, headed by former head of state General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has come under fire from a civil society group, the Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy for declining to make an official announcement regarding the results of the general election in 2023.

This was contained in a statement by Ifeanyi Okechukwu the Executive Director of the group, who said the continued silence of the committee is disturbing.

According to him, it is “disturbing that despite the avalanche of election petitions and likely far-reaching outcomes that could follow the decisions; the National Peace Committee has been quiet.

“It is our considered view that the National Peace Committee has failed in a very crucial area concerning the elections. The failure to issue a statement on the role of the judiciary and what Nigeria expects from the judiciary is an inglorious statement on the process of election in Nigeria.”

However, Okechukwu claimed that it was well known that the Abdulsalami-led National Peace Committee had consulted with all candidates and party leaders before the 2023 election on the importance of an impartial and equitable vote.

As a result, he claimed, a second national peace deal was signed, and all of the presidential contenders agreed to accept the results of the elections.

“Regrettably, what is missing is a post-election formal statement of the National Peace Committee on the outcome of the election. In actual fact, only the chairman had made personal statements that were ascribed to the National Peace Committee. The first statement by the chairman was after he voted, and the second statement was after the declaration of the result.

“It is, thus, surprising that there is yet to be any informed formal statement of the group on the election. Expectedly, the 2023 election has not been different. Presently, all major political parties are contesting the outcome of the elections. Without a doubt, the top of the engagements is the Presidential Election Petitions. Next in the echelon are several governorship petitions that are dotted across Nigeria.

“Accordingly, we call on the National Peace Committee to quickly address this gap in its engagements. It must be stressed that every Nigerian is looking up to the judiciary. What it means is that the National Peace Committee must be alert to its responsibilities. In other words, we are calling on the group to effectively focus its bright lights on the Judiciary because its actions or inactions can undermine the atmosphere of peace and stability that has been engendered by political actors keeping to the terms of the peace accord they signed before the elections,” he said.

Four months have gone since President Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election held on February 25 by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

However, Atiku and Obi disagreed with the findings, each asserting during separate press conferences that there was significant violence and rigging during the election.

To seek redress, both candidates went to the Presidential Election Petition Committee.

Meanwhile, the tribunal closed Obi’s case on June 23, after he tendered several documentary evidence and called a total of 13 out of 50 witnesses he originally scheduled to testify before the court, as well as a bundle of documents containing the total number of Permanent Voters Card, PVCs, that were collected in 32 states before the 2023 general elections, and four video exhibits.

Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was to open its defence to the allegation today, however, it failed to provide its witness, which forced the  Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani five-member panel t to adjourn further proceedings in the matter till Tuesday.

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