The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar said on Tuesday that he did not receive any invitation to take part at the signing of a peace accord for 2019 presidential candidates.
“I can confirm” that Atiku Abubakar “did not receive any formal invitation to the signing of the peace pact,” Paul Ibe, a spokesperson for the former vice-president, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
The clarification comes moments after it was reported that Atiku Abubakar was absent at the signing of the accord at the International Conference Centre. President Muhammadu Buhari arrived at the event shortly after 3:00 p.m., and he signed the agreement which was brokered by the National Peace Committee, led by Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former head of state.
Some presidential candidates were said to be present alongside Buhari, but many others like Kingsley Moghalu and Oby Ezekwesili were absent.
Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of African Action Congress (AAC) told Newsmen that he was not invited, either.
However, Matthew Kukah, a Catholic bishop and one of the proponents of the accord, told PREMIUM TIMES the committee “absolutely” sent invitation Atiku Abubakar, who is the main challenger to Buhari at the general elections coming up in February.
Abdulsalami Abubakar and Mr Kukah led presidential candidates to sign a similar accord in 2015, a measure that was widely deemed crucial to the peaceful outcome of that contentious election.