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Four top Nigerian presidential candidates signed a “peace” deal on Wednesday ahead of presidential elections on Saturday.

The only candidate absent from the ceremony was Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC) who was represented by his vice presidential running mate.

The head of the Nigerian electoral commission confirmed the organisation is ready to hold the election.

“The signing of the Peace Accord today comes at a critical moment in the electoral calendar. Campaign for Presidential and National Assembly elections ends at midnight tomorrow Thursday 23rd February 2023. Election will hold on Saturday this week. INEC is ready”, said the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission,Mahmood Yakubu.

Past presidential elections in Nigeria have been marred by violence, fraud, court challenges and a rise in ethnic tensions.

The peace deal is a private initiative of religious, traditional and opinion leaders who urged candidates to focus on issues and steer away from incitement to violence.

“The Commission is committed to free, fair and credible elections in compliance with the electoral legal framework and the letter and spirit of the Peace Accord.
All political parties and candidates are hereby reassured of the Commission’s neutrality. INEC is not a political party, we have no candidate in the election.
Our allegiance is to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and our loyalty is to Nigerians”, announced the electoral chief.

A total of 18 presidential hopefuls are running, including one woman.

According to analysts, the election race will be close with third party candidate Peter Obi challenging the traditional dominance of the ruling APC and main opposition PDP.

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