A total of 19 political parties on Tuesday, in Akure, the Ondo State capital, signed a non- violence peace accord, at a meeting with the Police and promised to avoid any act that could truncate the democratic process of the county ahead the general election scheduled for March 28 and April 11.
The “Peace Accord” was signed by the State Chairmen and representatives for their respective parties at the Police Officers Mess.
The peace accord, which was read to the hearing of the politicians by the Officer in Charge of Legal Matters, Barr. Aderemi Ajibola, enjoined the political gladiators to be of good behaviour and shun immoderate utterances, adding that they should accept the outcome of the forthcoming general election in good faith.
The Commissioner for Police, Isaac Eke, said the importance of the peace accord meeting was to give all the political actors and parties a free level playing ground for a smooth conduct of the elections.
He disclosed that the command had been enjoying a robust synergy with other security agencies in the state and promised to ensure the safety of all the stakeholders in the electoral process during and after the elections.
“I am pleased to assure you that with the level of synergy among security agencies in the state, all polling booths will be adequately covered by security agents; the same gesture is to be extended to all INEC staff and materials; ad-hoc staff, party agents, electorates, election observers and the media, including the escort of personnel and materials.
“Let me state categorically that police reserves the right to use all legal means at its disposal to deal with trouble makers”, Eke said.
The Police boss added that security agencies in the state remained committed and unwavering at ensuring that the elections would be fair and rancour-free.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko said the actions of politicians before, during and after the elections would be the major determinants to any peaceful polls.
Mimiko, represented by his Chief of Staff, Kola Ademujimi, noted that politicians with their supporters must show maturity, in their conduct, in the interest of peaceful elections this year.
“I wish all of us to take this home to our respective party members that we have resolved to ensure that absolute peace is maintained before, during and after the forthcoming general election throughout Ondo State.
“There would be continuous sensitisation, enlightenment and advocacy campaigns, until the culture of peace and non-violence during and after elections are inculcated into the people especially the youth,” he said.
Earlier, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Segun Agbaje, affirmed that to ensure effective security, for the conduct of the general election, the commission had already established the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee (IACC) in the state.
He disclosed that the committee was saddled with the responsibility of conducting a rancour-free election and advised politicians, including all political parties to abide by its regulations.
He also said that 14, 851 ad-hoc staff, which included members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), would be deployed for the conduct of the elections in the state.
In their various contribution, Fatai Adams (Peoples Democratic Party), Isaac Kekemeke (All Progressives Congress), and one political representative, Korode Duyile, promised to pass the message of non-violence to their supporter.