Barely six days after signing a peace accord initiated by the National Peace Committee, major political actors in Kogi State have signed another peace pact to ensure a violence free governorship election on November 16.
All the 24 candidates were present at the ceremony , including Governor Yahaya Bello of tge All Progressives Congress (APC) and Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The National Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmood Yakubu said this became imperative with a view to conducting peaceful governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi states. .
Yakubu explained that INEC expects the political actors in the governorship election to be of good behaviour before, during and after elections, noting that he believes that this time things would be different.
He stated that similar peace accord was signed last week in Kogi State which was organised by National Peace Committee, adding that the INEC peace pact was aimed at ensuring a hitch free governorship election in Kogi State. The same exercise was carried out in Bayelsa State last week.
“For us in INEC we are ready to conduct peaceful, free,fair and credible election on November 16 in both Bayelsa and Kogi states. We are seeking the partnership of political parties and candidates to ensure that the coming governorship election is violence free.
He also pointed out that the police and other security agents are ready to provide adequate security before , during and after next Saturday governorship and Kogi West Senatorial election in seven local government areas of Kogi State.
He also disclosed that the National Youths Service has always provided the Commission with ad-hoc staff, stressing that the youth corps members have been trained .
Mahmood also disclosed that the use of Smart Card Readers is sacrosanct in line with provision of the Electoral Law.
While speaking the National Commissioner, INEC ,Nasarawa, Kogi Kwara and Niger State, Mohammed Haruna reminded the political actors to always remember that there is life after office.
He cited Holy Quran Chapter 19 verse 11 , ” You cannot change people, until you change what is in them .”
He added that for the INEC is committed to conduct free, fair and credible elections in Kogi State .
The Director General NYSC Brigadier General Ibrahim assured the commission of continued partnership in providing ad-hoc staff
Ibrahim therefore called on candidates and political parties as well as security agents to provide adequate security for the corps members before during and after elections.
The Inspector General of Police , IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu explained that the police and other security agent are ready to provide adequate security for lives and property before, during and after elections in Kogi.
He pointed out that with the security architecture put in place for the election in Kogi State. there will be no violence .
He added that while police officers will monitor polling units , there will be detachments of officers on constant patrol .
Meanwhile the candidate of Social Democratic Party , Natasha Akpoti who was present at the venue of the of the peace pact claimed that she was attacked and pushed down by suspected APC thugs .
Akpoti stated that this happened as she walked into the political stakeholders meeting organised INEC, claiming that the police watched the show of shame, but did doing nothing .