How I got Buhari, Jonathan, others to sign peace pact – Ben Obi

President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari in a warm embrace at the 2015 Elections Sensitization Workshop on Non-Violence in Abuja today, organized by the Office of the National Security Adviser and SA to Mr. President on inter-party affairs.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Inter-Party Affairs, Ben Obi, has explained how his office packaged the workshop where a peace accord was signed on Wednesday by the presidential candidates and leaders of the political parties to stem intensifying tension and concerns of violence ahead of February election.

The presidential candidates of the seven political parties, including Mr. Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the leadership of all the registered parties, signed the agreement to ensure violent-free polls next month.

The Presidential and National Assembly elections hold on February 14 while the governorship and state houses of assembly polls hold February 28.

Speaking on a radio programme “Politics Nationwide” on Capital FM on Thursday, Mr. Obi said he recently approached Mr. Jonathan to inform him of the plan to organise the workshop where all the presidential candidates would be invited to agree on the need to have peaceful elections.

He explained that when he met the president, who incidentally was with his Chief of State, Jones Arogbofa, he asked him immediately if he had contacted Mr. Buhari.

He said he told the president that he had just come to clear with him (president) first and would contact the APC flag bearer thereafter.

Mr. Obi, a former senator from Anambra State, said he also informed the president that he had already contacted a former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, whom he said had given his word to arrive Nigeria on January 12 for the workshop slated for January 14.

According to him, during the discussion with Mr. Jonathan, the president told him that though he ought to be campaigning somewhere that day, he would make himself available and asked his deputy, Namadi Sambo, to continue with the campaign.

He explained that immediately he got the approval of the president, he placed a call to the National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, whom he said told him “Count on me, I will tell Buhari to attend.”

He did not however explain how he got the candidates and leaders of the other parties to attend.

Asked how his office would ensure that the signatories abide by the terms of agreement, the presidential aide said a committee comprising eminent Nigerians and nominees of the political parties would be constituted soon to undertake that task.

He said, “All you need is an all-stakeholder committee to continue to follow up on this accord. Nobody amongst them involuntarily appended their signature to this accord. Therefore it will not be difficult in anyway and manner in enforcing or making sure that they keep to this accord.

If we are able to put as soon as possible an all-stakeholders committee to see this through…it depends on how these things are handled.

“Like I said when we were putting these things together I told the president, Kofi Annan is coming, Emeka Anyaoku will chair it, Ibrahim Gambari, an former Under Secretary guest speaker, General Isaac Obiakor, first African military adviser in the UN, guest speaker; and of course Attajiru Jega, the chairman of INEC for obvious reason; I tried to make sure nobody in APC will say oh this is a known PDP supporter, the other person saying a known APC supporters, I make sure I get everybody that is known clearly non-partisan in any way and manner.

“So the truth of the matter is that you must be able to enjoy the trust and confidence of everybody. So if you put an all stakeholders committee together, people who are respected Nigerians together, the parties nominating their own members, at that high level, you don’t have anything to worry. And Nigerians themselves will be informing the committee of anybody derailing whenever they find the candidates doing it.”

Mr. Obi disclosed that after the accord was signed, the president directed him to follow up in order to ensure the terms were kept.

He also said shortly after the workshop, a clergyman, Matthew Kukah, called him to request him to organise a similar workshop for the religious leaders ahead of the polls.

He advised Nigerian to call party officials whenever they discovered the signatories were not obeying the terms of agreement.


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  • dankasa

    this is the type of Advisers Dr. Dumbo need during his tenure not ”Bastard Ruben Abati”, Kuku and a host of others who believe Johnathan is the C-In-C so they can abuse whoever they like even an entire region, their people and political stand (if it is against their God Jonah). They believe when in power, you must win election whether people like it or not ko? we go see ooO! CHANGE for a better Nigeria men!

    • AJM Baikie

      dankasa,i am not unmindful of the term “freedom of expression”,but i tell you,your style is not encouraging.

      • Hah!

        I concur!

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        AJM Baikie, you may not like the delivery style of @Dankasa, but the message remain very relevant.

    • tyson

      Ruben Abati is the image maker of the president–as a matter of fact most of the statements he has been releasing to the media-were all supposed to be made by the National Security adviser Dasuki–But opne does not know his left from right-added to the fact that-he has no telephone number— in Nigeria—This credit should have gone to Dasuki who is a Fulani—But his thoughts are somewhere else–Not in Nigeria–may be in Pakistan

      • Wähala

        Deri,
        leave Dasuki out of your tirades. Always pointing fingers, always bigoted with your dirty views. If PT bans you from their site you will be allover crying foul. You, Asari and dirty old Clark are responsible for the hatred Dumbo enjoys today because of your regional mental illness. Grow out of hate, live and let live! Drunkard

        • NamesAre4Tombstones

          Why should they leave Dasuki out? It is ok to point fingers at Okonjo Iweala, it is ok to point fingers at Abati, it is ok to point fingers Stella Oduah, but when someone mentions a Northerner you get sensitive?

          When the last NSA (Azazi) was there, you could not wait to accuse him of incompetence and corruption. Now that Dasuki has been there and done absolutely nothing to help tackle boko haram, you are saying he should be left out of this?

          You APC supporters will tear this country apart, and you will die of hunger because there will be no more free oil money for lazy people.

          • Wähala

            Pal, I was a student and fan of Azazi and not Dasuki and his father-in-law, Aliyu Gusau. Deri is just infatuated with the man while leaving others out. The whole Security personnel have failed Nigerians and must be replaced by folks with vision and plan, and I don’t care who. Bottom line, Nigerians need to replace Dumbo and his entire team of incompetent criminals raiding our treasury… Shikena!

  • bittertruth

    A good one from Ben Obi.

  • Smith Scott

    I see someone win the election and they did not allow him to rule. This is interim government. This is another June 12. Oracle has spoken.

  • Hembe Hembe

    Ben Obi, the political pundit. We dope out our caps for you.

  • Tayo Ogundipe

    That’s a step in the right direction, Election violence is bad and should therefore be curtailed, I just pray that all those APC and Buhari’s boko people would respect this agreement.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      …and the PDP killers in Ekiti, Rivers and Jos shouldn’t?

    • bikky

      Are you working for any political party or you have an interest in one of them?

      • Tayo Ogundipe

        I don’t work for any political party I’m only saying things the way I see it.

    • Funso

      While you pray that Dokubo Asari ati Tompolo who already have bought warships ready to go to unleash violence on behalf of Goodluck Jonathan should break the agreement.-abi?

  • bikky

    That is a good idea. It is my believe that all the political parties will involved their states and local governments levels in this and make them accountable for any violence before ,during and after the elections. And they should be advised against electoral malpractices,not that somebody will say we are the one at Abuja or Lagos ,we can do anything we want and use that in one remote village to snuff ballot boxes. God continue to help Nigeria and Nigerians. VOTE WISELY

  • Wähala

    It is one thing to sign on a piece of paper but quite a different ball game to live up to one’s commitments. Dumbo also signed their PDP rotational agreement, today nko? I don’t see the reason for the hoopla because I don’t believe any of the candidates has control over their sycophants. There will be violence, there will be finger-pointing and blames… but it’s a good gesture from Sen. Ben Obi to seek peaceful electioneering and that’s where it ends, this is no big deal. Gaskiya!

    ps…
    I noticed that inferiority complex did not allow Dumbo to make eye-contact with Gen. Buhari in their fake peace-hug… while the General looked into the Chimp’s eyes, the crook looked away. Body language of a coward and deceitful fellow.

  • Yusuf

    you started well until you brought in ‘we will set up a committee’

    • Segun

      yusuf, can u suggest how this peace accord can be implemented?

  • Pastor Favour

    Good morning Dear Lord,

    I want to begin by thanking you immensely for making oil prices to drop to $47 per barrel. Your name be praised! But Dear Lord, there is still too much blood flowing in Nigeria as the fight for control of the oil wealth of the Niger Delta & Eastern Nigeria intensifies.

    Therefore, Oh Lord, kindly grant the following prayer requests:
    1. Let the price of oil fall to $0 per barrel. Let the oil be valueless so that the struggle of the very old, old and young for the resources will end.
    2. Let the $0 per barrel remain permanent for the next 5 yrs, so that there can be enough time for Nigeria to break up properly
    3. According to your will Lord, after the 5yrs, bless every new country according to the purity of their intentions.

    O lord, grant eternal rest and peace to those who have been killed innocently by Boko haram
    But may the hottest parts of hell be reserved for the suicide bombers and the politicians from that region who sponsor them
    Thank you Lord.
    Amen!

  • dudu

    If there was any easterner i had expected to be in the APC, it was Senator Ben Obi who was Atiku’s running mate in the 2007 general elections, perhaps he enjoys govt patronage more than seeking the enthronement of Ndigbo at the helm of affairs in the soonest time possible

  • King Carlos

    How come Ben Obi acted in the interest of the country and not desperate to return Jonathan? Onlybof Jonathan had more of him, perhaps there will not be too much enemies.

  • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

    Former Minister of Education and leader of the BringBackOurGirls group, Dr. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili, has stated that President Goodluck Jonathan to Maiduguri yesterday was hallmark of deceit.

    She took to Twitter Friday morning to express her anger over Mr. Jonathan’s surprise visit to Boko Haram stronghold Maiduguri 30 days to election.

    According to her: “If no one told Mr. President yet, I will. Going to Maiduguri “supposedly” to boost morale of our soldiers yesterday was hallmark of DECEIT.

    Mr. President, you keep listening to sycophants who tell you that a journey like yesterday’s was GREAT. No. It was not. It was inhumane.

    Mr. President, why is it that it is ONLY when the WORLD FOCUSES that you demonstrate a flash of Leadership on TRAGEDIES of your CITIZENS?

    Mr. President, today is DAY277 ChibokGirls’ abduction. Their parents CRY your July 22 PROMISES. When was the LAST TIME they heard from you??

    Mr. President, toying with the tragedies of your CITIZENS on the basis of POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY is the worst thing a LEADER can do. #CHANGE.

    Mr. President, I hope the courtiers who genuflect sycophantic praise to you would DARE give you the CNN report on the state of OUR SOLDIERS?

    Mr. President, I am one who GENUINELY PRAYS for you. But it is clear that GOD will NOT DO what MAN MUST DO after He answers OUR prayers.

    Mr President, it ANGERS your grieving citizens that you forgot to visit them UNTIL ONLY AFTER THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS BEGAN. Where were you?

    Mr. President, I BELIEVE in POWER OF REDEMPTION. It is NEVER LATE to do the RIGHT THING..to turn away from the wrong path. God help you, Sir

    Those who clap&say “at least our President finally visited Maiduguri since March2013″ are like the unloved 4 whom a fleeting spark thrills.

    I absolutely believe in the role that Citizens’ Feedback plays in advancing Good Governance. Let each Citizen set their OWN STANDARD.

    As a Citizen who has been deeply advocating on the TRAGEDIES of fellow Citizens in the North East, I have given my FEED BACK to our Leader.

    There are no bad soldiers….. Only bad Officers.”
    PT

    • TrueNja

      Good twitt mama!!! Keep the flame on, we are solidly behind you.

  • Segun

    will Buhari who is known for supporting boko haram obey it?

  • Aisha

    Tinubu and Obj are out again to deceive the north. Hear what Fayose said about Buhari’s health. we know what another Yaradua pls.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Where is Buhari’s Birth certificate ?

    Was Buhari born on a market day without date like OBJ ?

    Was Buhari born in Nigeria ?

    Was Buhari born in transit(somewhere in the West African sub region) like many Fulanis ?

    The old dictator has a familiar answer to all these important questions…………….AFFIDAVIT !!

    Buhari,what about first school leaving certificate ?…………………………………………AFFIDAVIT !!

    Buhari, what about O’levels certificate ?………………………………………………………..AFFIDAVIT !!

    Nigerians are sick and tired of AFFIDAVITS,WE ARE FED UP !!
    HABA !! GENERAL,HURRY UP ,WE NEED ANSWERS !!

  • endingNaija

    I think similar workshop should be organized for the police, military, SSS, and all security agencies to STEER CLEAR OF THE ELECTION AND STAY NEUTRAL. The peace accord among the contestants is useless if any of the contestants, the PDP and Goodluck Jonathan use the security agencies during the election and If the security do not STAY neutral during the election. We do not want a repeat of the criminal use of the military, SSS and Police during the Ekiti and Osun elections. That is the blunt truth-period. The “peace” accord is DEAD on arrival if the security agencies DO NOT stay NEUTRAL and if PDP and Mr. Goodluck Jonathan use them against Nigerian voters during the election to rig.

  • boliatepa

    It means nothing, sadly. It’s not a guarantee for peace; just a placebo – a deceptive, ineffectual remedy to a problem that cannot be resolved. Once one side is aggrieved or about to lose, it will not be remembered.

  • Saba

    Editor Premium Times,

    This Ben Obi needs good schooling. It is a shame to be avoided
    rather than a feat to celebrate that a truce pact must be signed
    before a supposedly free and fair election. May his type not be
    inflicted again on the already wobbly psyche of this wobbly republic.