Thirty seven Governorship Candidates in Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday signed peace accord to ensure peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for candidates seeking elective positions in the general election in the state.
INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mike Igini, said during the event in Uyo, that the accord would help the commission to conduct free, fair, credible and non-violent election.
He said the spirit of the accord should reflect in the lives of politicians and candidates in the state.
“For us it is a great one to have all candidates and political parties signing the peace accord.
“The fact that we are talking of peace accord, is an indicative of the kind of people that we have,” he said.
Mr Igini said the commission would stand tall and mighty to defend democracy and rule of law, adding that democracy cannot be completed without rule of law.
According to him, election period is not a period that people will be talking about violence.
Mr Igini noted that the commission would not use incidence form during the general election in the state.
He said accreditation of voters would be done with card reader machines and voters’ register.
Mr Igini advised political parties and candidates to nominate agents that would assist in the election procedure as set out by the Electoral Act and INEC.
He reminded voters that the commission had banned the use of mobile phones within polling units to check vote buying.
He appealed to politicians to be peaceful and assured that INEC would be an unbiased umpire.
Also speaking, Augustine Aruk, the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), said the police were determined to ensure that elections are conducted in a peaceful in manner.
“It is our role to protect electoral materials, personnel and this time security agencies are very ready for the general election.
“We are aware of our role during the election to provide security to all sundry,” he said.
Mr Aruk said security agencies had been trained for the general election in the state.
Former governor of the state, Victor Attah commended INEC for bringing the parties together to sign the accord.
He however, stressed that a collation process devoid of manipulations would go a long way to ensure free, fair, credible and violence free election.
Mr Attah called on politicians to conduct themselves in a manner that would not mare the election.