By: Adelowo Oladipo – Minna
The Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command, CP Ogundele J. Ayodeji, on Tuesday, supervised the signing of peace accord by political party leaders and candidates in the state to ensure a free, fair and credible 2023 general election in the state.
The CP, in his keynote address, said that Police and other security agencies were usually tasked for a peaceful conduct of election, adding that peace cannot be achieved without collaboration and synergy with other relevant political stakeholders like them, hence the reason for the invitation for the crucial ceremony of the peace accord.
He stated further that the aim of the exercise was to remind all political stakeholders that their utterances, activities and movements must be subject of compliance to the law, highlighting further that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the electoral act and their respective party constitutions must be respected and honoured.
He stressed that it was for this reason, “that we shall be having teams of international electoral observers across the country to also scrutinize our actions and compliance leaves.
He explained that “as we sign this peace accord, we hope and believe that we will all abide by it, as we look forward to a peaceful electioneering process. He admonished political parties, contestants, and their followers to refrain from provocative speeches and the circulation of wrong information or misinformation through social media, which is tantamount to hate speeches”.
CP Ogundele, however, encouraged everyone to abreast themselves with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Public Order Act to ensure issue-based campaigns and the overall success of the process for the good of all, while calling on religious leaders to continuously preach peace and moral values in the various communities, just as he called on community leaders to enlighten their wards in our respective communities against violence through constant meetings and sensitization.
Also in his remarks, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Alhaji Ahmed Yushau Garki disclosed that training of ad-hoc staff will commence this week.
He stated that since he assumed duty in Niger State, he observed that there have been a peaceful campaign process, just as he commended the Police and other security agencies in the state for their efforts, pointing out that there was no attack on INEC facilities in Niger State.
The REC however urged political parties signing a peace accord to uphold the pact and promised that INEC will provide a level-playing environment for the candidates.
Among the parties in attendance at the signing of the peace accord include: NRM, PDP, SDP, NNPP, Accord party, ADP, A.A and ZLP.
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In a separate remarks, the Comptroller of Correctional Service, Compt. Salman Abdulkadir, enjoined the contestants to abide by the law, adding that anyone that refused to do so, that the Correctional Centre would be ready to receive such a person in custody.
Similarly, the Sector Commamder, FRSC C.C Kumar Tsukwam explained that FRSC would ensure that road worthy vehicles were being used to convey materials and ad-hoc staff through synergy with NURTW, RTEAN in conjunction with NARTO
Nevertheless the State’s NDLEA Commander, Bar. Haruna Kwetishe warned that the use of drugs during campaigns or at any gathering would not be allowed, emphasizing that drugs kill and destroy, stressing that anywhere use of drugs was discovered, that the NDLEA would not hesitate to storm the venue for necessary action
Consequently, the IPAC Chairman, Hon. Isah Moh’d Bello Maikujeri appreciated the Police for organising the peace accord program and equally commended INEC for introduction of BVAS to reduce manipulation during election.
He however admonished political parties that power comes from God adfing that Political Parties should support whoever that emerge winner during election.
Meanwhile, the political parties and contestants later signed the peace accord under the supervision of the Police Command’s Legal Officer SP Jude Akaeze.
The occasion was attended by political parties, contestants, INEC, heads of security agencies, human rights commission, religious bodies.