On the final day of campaigning, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan (pictured right) and top challenger Muhammadu Buhari (pictured) agreed to keep the peace for Saturday’s general elections, according to the BBC.
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In 2011, 800 people lost their lives in pre- and- post-election violence.
At the time, President Jonathan of the People Democratic Party secured 58.89 percent of the vote, while Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change party only garnered 31.98 percent of the vote.
With Buhari, who is hails from the North and is Muslim, failing to win the majority of the vote caused fellow Muslims from his region to riot over the results, with more than 500 Muslims dying during the protests.
Attempting to stave off a repeat of events, Nigeria’s National Peace Committee made sure to make the candidates aware of the prevalent hate speech in the air, prompting both Jonathan and Buhari to officially sign a peace agreement, where they “shook hands and hugged.”
U.S. President Barack Obama lent his voice to the call for peace on Monday, when he spoke directly to Nigeria’s citizens in a videotaped message and urged that the election process be free of “intimidation.”
“For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair, and credible,” he says. “All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear,” President Obama said.
This weekend’s election was originally supposed to take place on February 14th but was delayed to March 28th due to Boko Haram’s continued threat.