CP warns candidates against violence in A’ Ibom
By Isaac Job, Uyo
Akwa Ibom state Commissioner of Police Olatoye Durunsimi has warned governorship and House of Assembly candidates participating in next Saturday’s elections in the state to eschew violence and thuggery during elections in the state.
Addressing candidates of political parties at the state police headquarters in Uyo on Tuesday during the signing of Peace Accord for smooth conduct of the poll, the Commissioner of Police maintained that there will be zero tolerance to thuggery and other forms of electoral violence in the state throughout the elections.
“In the last election, the command is aware of thugs who camouflaged as fake soldiers and policemen during Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state. Some of them were arrested at various locations in the state.
” Investigations are ongoing for those who are still in our custody while others have been charged to court.
” But this time, it is zero tolerance to thuggery and all forms of crimes during the election. Our men are on ground to prevent breakdown of law and order during the election.”
The Commissioner of Police explained that the problem of thuggery emanates from overzealous supporters who normally commit electoral crimes that their principals never authorized them.
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He, therefore, advised the candidates to talk to their supporters to keep to the provisions of the peace deal in order to achieve a peaceful election in the state.
Candidates who signed the Peace Accord deal include Pastor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Senator John James Akpan Udoedeghe of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNDP), senator Bassey Albert of Young Progressives Peoples Party (YPP) and governorship candidate of African Alliance Congress( AAC) Mr Iboro Otu.
Others include the governorship candidate of Accord Party, Emem Koffi, Akanimo Udofia for All Progressives Congress(APC) Akanimo Ekpenyong for Booth Party, Uduakobong Peter, Labour Party (LP) Ita Ekpe for All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) among others.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state urged the candidates to educate their supporters on the need for peace during the election as only one winner will emerge at the end.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner who was represented by the Administrative Officer of the commission said the Electoral Umpire was ready to conduct a free and credible election in the state.
” We are dedicated to our service in the state. We will ensure that materials arrived at polling units on time. ”
All the candidates who responded appealed to the police and other security agencies to remain impartial throughout the conduct of the poll in the state adding that anything contrary can stoke violence at the polling unit.
They maintained that the peace initiative will be sustained by the fairness of security agencies during and after the election.
pastor Umo Eno said other candidates are shouting of intimidation by the ruling party when they are the ones causing security breaches in some parts of the state.
He, therefore, appealed to security agencies to check the conduct of candidates and their supporters to forestall breakdown of order during the election.
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