By Dayo Johnson
THE Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said that all the 17 governorship candidates participating in the October 10 election would sign a peace accord, next Tuesday.
Yakubu who expressed concerns over the spate of violence in some parts of the state said this during an interactive session with newsmen in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
Yakubu is on a three-day working visit to the state ahead of the election.
His words: “We are aware of the violence involving supporters of political parties. We will meet with the traditional rulers and the political parties over the issue of violence. I am also glad that the National Peace Committee under the leadership of our former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar retd., is going to intervene by organising the signing of the peace accord, similar to what we did in Benin.
“That is why we have a representative of the NPC committee to do the preparatory work. The signing of the peace accord will take place on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, here in Akure.
“I am happy to let you know that we have accomplished 12 of the 14 activities. This is exactly two weeks and two days to the election. Within the days remaining, there is exactly 16 days to the election.
“If we exclude the election day on Saturday October 10, we have 15 days. So we have two weeks, and a day to the election. The sensitive materials for the election are ready.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria will deliver them to the (Akure) branch. On Monday, October 5, the sensitive materials for the election will arrive. We lost all our smart card readers to the unfortunate fire incident. But let me say that we have fully recovered from that incident. We have enough smart card readers from the neighbouring Oyo State. We are configuring and charging the card readers here in Akure.”
Asks monarchs to back establishment of electoral offences commission, tribunal
Meanwhile, at another meeting with traditional rulers across the state, the chairman sought their support for the establishment of electoral offences commission and electoral tribunal.
Yakubu urged them to prevail on their representatives at the National Assembly to ensure passage of the bill for the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission Tribunal.
He said the commission as of now, rely on the police for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of electoral offenders, which in many cases hamper the ability of the INEC to bring to book electoral offenders.
He disclosed that the commission was able to prosecute 40 electoral offenders in one of the South-West states, adding that INEC would have been happier if sponsors of the offenders were arrested and prosecuted because the perpetrators are actually not the beneficiaries of the offences.
Yakubu, who promised that the commission would continue to do its best to discourage vote buying, said politicians had been outsmarting the commission by devising new methods to ensure inducement of voters.
He however promised that the commission would improve on its achievements during the last week’s exercise in Edo State.
Responding, the chairman of the council of Obas, the Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinruntan lauded the commission for the success of the Edo election and asked that same should be replicated in Ondo.