Candidates of Political Parties in Enugu State have signed Peace Accord to ensure peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in the forthcoming general elections.
INEC has fixed Saturday, February 25, for Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as Saturday, March 11, 2023, for the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
Supervising the signing on Thursday in Enugu, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Ammani, said that the candidate’s signing of the Peace Accord was a sign of their sincere commitment to tow the line of peace.
Ammani noted that the candidates and their political party leaders signing of the Peace Accord was also a sign of obedience to extant laws in the conduct of electioneering activities before, during and after the elections.
According to him, we do this document signing believing very strongly that election is never a do-or-die affair and that in every contest of this nature, there must be a winner and a loser.
The commissioner, however, advised that the winners in the elections must, as a matter of fact, be magnanimous in victory, while the losers must be gracious in defeat.
“Therefore, we seek your voluntary cooperation and sincere endorsement of this Peace Accord, as a sign of your genuine commitment to conduct your electioneering affairs in the most legally and morally acceptable manner.
“Note that this exercise is done in good faith and completely devoid of any form of compulsion, as we intend to get nothing but your sincere commitment to peace and transparency for peaceful, credible and acceptable general elections in the state.
“The assurance I bring to you and the good of Enugu State is that the police, in active collaboration with other security agencies, will continue to work very hard to maintain security.
“We (security agencies) will do everything within our powers to remain non-partisan and provide a level playing ground for all of you to carry out your legitimate electioneering activities before, during and after the elections,” he said.
Contributing, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu State, Dr Chukwuemeka Chukwu, said that the commission was doing all to ensure a peaceful and rancour-free election.
Chukwu noted that INEC had maintained its election timetable as well as carried all stakeholders along as it fine-tunes modalities for the general elections.
“Political parties and their candidates must be accommodating and tolerate other political parties for us to achieve peaceful elections,” he said.
Speaking, Chief Edwin Alor, the state Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), lauded political parties and political gladiators for maintaining peace within the state since the lifting of campaigns.
Alor said that Enugu State had remained peaceful since electioneering activities started; while the political parties had ensured their members, supporters and followers had maintained practical decorum.
He said: “The signing of the peace accord is good, but I view it as an exercise to fulfil all righteousness as the electioneering activities have remained very peaceful in the state.
“I must tell you that IPAC has continued to impress upon its members, who are leaders of the political parties, that this state belongs to us all and we must do all to ensure a peaceful state.”
In a message, Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu, the Chairman of Enugu State Peace and Security Committee, urged political parties to keep restraining their supporters to refrain from inflammatory statements and actions.
“We should shun hate speech as well as campaign of calumny and lies; but base our campaigns on issues affecting the people,” Ugwu, who is also the Traditional Ruler of Ibegwa Nike community, said.
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