AHEAD of the forthcoming 2019 general election across Nigeria, political parties and some of their candidates in a meeting convened by Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, CP Aminu Saleh, yesterday signed an agreement to ensure that they conduct themselves peacefully during the polls.
Speaking during the peace accord signing ceremony at the police officers mess in Yenagoa, CP Aminu commended all the political parties in the state for going about their campaigns peacefully without any violence recorded so far.
He disclosed that the police command will mobilise about 4560 policemen to cover atleast two police personnel per polling unit during the election day, and urged the party leadership and candidates to restrain their supporters from destroying the opponent campaign posters.
He said: “At this point in our preparation to the next month elections, it is important for us to call ourselves together and discuss seriously as party officials and candidates, so that we can sit down and honestly and holistically look at the issues and iron out the area of friction before the election.
“This meeting is in the instance of the Inspector General of Police who insisted that all the stakeholders in Bayelsa State should be called upon and enter an agreement to conduct themselves and their supporters peacefully during the election.
“I must thank you for the peaceful conduct during the ongoing campaigns, so far, we have not recorded any serious incident, but let me warn party supporters against the destruction of opponent campaign posters and billboards.” The police boss said.
The chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Bayelsa state, Pastor Ineye Zidogha, who signed also singed on behalf of the political parties, said that the body is ready to partner with INEC to ensure free, credible and fair elections in the state.
He urged the electorates to go out peacefully to vote for their preferred candidates, and shun any act of violence during and after the polls.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency and incumbent speaker of the Bayelsa State Assembly, Rt. hon Kombowei Benson, expressed happiness for the initiative by the state police command.
He further urged the Nigerian Police should do more by attending reports of threats party candidates receive ahead of the election.
“I told our governor recently that the thraets upon are becoming too much that i am desiring to shelve my polical ambition. Nobody has a monopoly of violence and because the police sometimes do not take threat petitions seriously, elections in the past had been characterised by violence.”