By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
No fewer than 18 governorship candidates of different political parties on Wednesday in Lokoja signed peace accord towards a peaceful off – cycle election in Kogi state.
Cardinal John Onaiyekan who represented the Chairman of National Peace Committee, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the forthcoming off circle election in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states to redeem it’s low and battered image before Nigerians.
Abdulsalam said Nigerians are beginning to loose confidence on the ability of the commission to conduct free fair and credible election owing to it’s past record in previous elections in the country and urged the commission to match it’s words with actions.
While identifying three groups that are responsible for peaceful and transparent election, he mentioned the electorate who are to choose credible leaders , the contestants who are to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner and the government agencies such as INEC, security who are to remain neutral and transparent during the election.
The chairman therefore urged the contestants and their political parties not to see the signing of the peace accord as a mere tradition but to abide by the contents of rules and regulations guiding the election.
The National commissioner representing Kogi ,Nasarawa and Kwara State, Alhaji Sanni Mohammed Adam who represented the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu reiterated that INEC will conduct free, fair, transparent and credible election.
He however called on the political players to caution their supporters to abide by the rule of the game and thank the National Peace committee for organising the peace accord.
The Deputy Inspector-general in charge of Force Intelligence, Mr A.H Sanni who represented the IGP on the occasion assured the Committee and the citizenry that the election will be peaceful as all machinery towards that have been put in place.