*Meet parties’ leaders today
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
With barely three months to the 2019 general elections, the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee has identified Rivers State and some states in the North East as flash point areas ahead of the polls.
The committee said this yesterday during a meeting with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja.
This is even as the committee disclosed that it would meet with National Chairmen and secretaries of registered political parties today, to listen to them.
Chairman of the peace committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, rtd, who spoke at the end of the meeting, mentioned Rivers State, as flash point areas.
According to him, “I’m worried about the security situation in the North East and it is necessary that we try to contain violence there in order for the INEC to go there and conduct election.
“You should know that INEC will not send people to endanger their lives in order to conduct election, and in actual fact, no agent or no political party will endanger the lives of its people in any conflict area”, he said.
According to him, INEC has assured the committee of its readiness for the general elections but called for issue-based campaign by political parties.
He emphasised the importance of peace during the election, adding “there must be peace before we have a country, there must be peace before we (could) conduct election.”
The former Head of State promised that the committee would ensure there is decent campaign during election as well as there are no hate speeches, no name calling and undesired utterances by politicians.
His words, “We are going to meet with the Chairmen and Secretaries to all political parties tomorrow (today) in order to discuss also and listen to them and to see how we can make progress.
“After the meeting with the political parties, we are going to draw a Memorandum of Understanding of peace and tranquility and this we hope will be signed by all the presidential candidates and the chairmen of the registered parties.
“Like all Nigerians, we pray and we hope, and we will get assurances that the INEC will do the right thing and the political parties will help them also in exercising their right, free and fair election. Each Nigerian has a role to play and I hope they will play their parts,” he said.
The former head of state decried conduct of the parties’ primaries, especially the imposition of candidates.