At least 18 political parties taking part in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi have signed a Peace Accord to ensure the peaceful conduct of the poll.
The accord was signed under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC) at the end of a dialogue with stakeholders on the peaceful conduct of the election on Thursday in Lokoja, the state capital.
Speaking at the forum, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. James Apam, expressed concern over a possible outbreak of violence during the election.
He said: “Our major challenge is that of violence and that is why Kogi is termed as ‘Bayelsa of the North’ and the only way to remove the tag is by holding a peaceful election.
“The people should resolve for peace. The issue of security lies with the people. ‘That is also our challenge to the stakeholders that there’s no way the police can provide 100 percent security to the people.
“You should conduct yourselves in an orderly manner. We want you to help our efforts to pay off. That’s our appeal to you this morning. Our partners have committed so much to this cause.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Busari, said that election was not a war.
“You don’t need to kill anybody to get into office. We appeal to political actors to play the game according to the rules and to avoid anything that will result in violence,” he said.
Busari said the police had provided a level playing ground to all the political parties and their candidates right from their campaigns and that they would continue all through the election.
Also speaking, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr. Ado Ibrahim, said the traditional institution in the state was concerned about the possibility of violence during the election.
“We are concerned with the security situation in the state. There has to be the advancement of peace from the grassroots,” he said (NAN)