Three days to the gubernatorial election in Edo State, the governor of Edo state who is the candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate have pledged their committment to allow the elections go smoothly in the state.
In the build up to the September 19 governorship election, there has been heated tension and series of violent activities in the state as the two major political parties continued to point accusing fingers at each other.
But in a Peace Accord on Tuesday organised by the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee in Benin City, Edo state, the two major contenders in the election joined other governorship candidates from 12 other political parties to sign the peace accord, promising to ensure they and their supporters conduct themselves peacefully during the elections.
Abubakar who led the committee during the meeting, urged the contestants to remain faithful to their pledge to the people adding that any bridge on the peace accord signed will only result to them putting their integrity on the line.
He said, “We as a people should aspire to see a Nigeria where people will feel safe to come out of their homes to cast their votes without any fear and need for police deployment. Edo state deserves peace”.
In a separate remark Obaseki who is the incumbent governor of Edo state, explained that as it is his constitutional duty, his first priority is to ensure safety of lives and properties as well as maintain peace in the state.
“I want to say on behalf of myself as a candidate and my party, the PDP that we are fully committed to ensuring that we have peaceful election. I have no choice because in addition to being the candidate, I am also the Governor and Chief Security Officer of the state. I want to again commit publicly that I will live by the letters and spirit of the accord that we have just signed.
“To the Peace Committee, do not to limit your work to the signing of the accord but also reach out to some unnamed political leaders who are not contesting in the elections but who have a role to play in ensuring peace”, he said.
On his part Ize-Iyamu thanked the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II who he said first initiated the peace process among political gladiators in the state, when he called them to the palace and spoke to them on then need for peace.
He added that they had promised the Oba to conduct theircampaigns peacefully and maintain same throughout the period of the election as well as the he election on day proper.
He said, “Let me reaffirm our commitment to what has been signed and to assure Nigerians and particularly the people in Edo state that we will talk to all our supporters, we will conduct ourselves peacefully and we will do all our best to ensure that the election is peaceful.
“We support free, fair and credible elections. We believe that is the only way we can sustain our democracy and we want to assure all that the election is going to be very peaceful by God’s grace”.
Other dignitaries present to witness the event included, the Oba of Benin His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, as well as the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah amongst others.