By Odo Ogenyi,Uyo
At least 15 governorship candidates from various political parties yesterday in Uyo endorsed a peace accord as a further pledge to ensure a peaceful conduct in this weekend’s rescheduled governorship election in Akwa Ibom.
The ceremony which took place at State Police Headquarters also had party chairmen signing for state house of assembly candidates to ensure violence free state assembly polls.
Presided over by the state Commissioner òf Police, Olatoye Durosinmi it also had in attendance the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), service chiefs, a representative of paramount rulers, civil society organisations (CSO), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) among others.
Durosinmi maintained that zero tolerance to violent elections is expected and those who would want to ferment trouble should refrain from it.
“We want to remain the most peaceful state of the federation. We should not say because of elections we start burning vehicles. Let your fellowers no that violence don’tpay, you cannot win election by intimidating others.
“Signing of the accord is just symbolic but carry the message to your supporters. You must not allow the faceless agitators to do something funny.” The commissioner stated.
According to the State Police boss, people arrested during the conduct of the presidential election were still being investigated while security operatives are on the trail of those on the run.
Also speaking the representative of INEC, the Administrative Secretary, Emmanuel Ogbodu said the essence of the accord was to seek peace during the elections and the governorship candidates to embrace the peace accord.
“On our part we will continue to ensure that the elections are credible.” Ogbodu said.
Most of the governorship candidates that spoke commended the State Police Command and INEC for guaranteeing security and and credible polls.
They however charged security agencies to be neutral in tackling election issues and do something about fake security operatives during the conduct of the elections in the state.
They noted that voters at the community level are often threatened by hoodlums and urged security to be beefed up to protect voters from unforseen violence