Ahead of March 18 governorship and State House of Assembly elections, the Nigeria Police, Akwa Ibom State command has organized a peace accord for the candidates.
The governorship candidates of all the major political parties were present at the event.
The parties present included: PDP, APC, YPP, LP, NNPP, ACCORD, ZLP, PRP, APM, AA, ADP, AAC, APGA, SDP and BP.
Speaking before administering the pact on Tuesday at the command headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, the Commissioner of Police, CP Olatoye Durosinmi urged the candidates to warn their supporters against perpetuating violence or indulging in any form of thuggery, saying that the police would not hesitate to fight any one engaging in such act.
Durosinmi noted that the peace accord was aimed at promoting peace in all aspects and to make candidates eschew inflammatory comments which could ignite violence before, during or after the polls.
While promising to ensure security during the March 18 elections, the CP encouraged members of the public to come out en-masse to vote candidates of their choice without fear of molestation.
He said, “I urge all the candidates to talk to your supporters, some of whom are overzealous. Tell them that election cannot be won by violence. Signing the peace accord is not enough but talking to your supporters to comport themselves during and after the polls.
“See the peace of Akwa Ibom State as paramount and beyond your personal interest, elections will come and go but the state will remain for us.”
In his remarks, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, who was represented by the Administrative Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ogbodu, promised a level playing ground for all the candidates, even as he maintained that INEC remains an “unbiased umpire for the elections.”
He also reassured that materials would arrive at polling units on time.
The gubernatorial candidates in their separate remarks urged the INEC to remain an unbiased umpire and deliver free, fair and credible elections unlike what it did during the February 25 presidential election.
They also challenged INEC to ensure early arrival of election materials to different polling units, as well as the transmission of election results.
Meanwhile the event had members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Elections Security (ICCES), comprising Service Commanders of all Security Agencies, and other Clcritical stakeholders like INEC, NUJ, NBA, NMA, CLO, NLC, the NYSC, CAN, the Traditional Institution, University Dons, local and international Observers and other stakeholders in attendance.