DELTA State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has said that the peace accord entered into by politicians should be respected for a violent-free electioneering process to be achieved.
Dr Uduaghan who made the call Wednesday when candidates for different elective positions of political parties in Delta State signed a peace accord in Asaba stated that peace accords should not be for formalities but should be honoured in the interest of democracy.
The peace accord was packaged by the Delta State Police Command to ensure peace before, during and after the general elections.
“If all of us present in this hall decide that these elections should be violence-free, they will be violence-free. We are signing a document today for violence-free elections, it should not just be ceremonial, we must act with the document,” the Governor said and urged the Police and other security agencies in the state to ensure full compliance with the signed agreement.
While commending politicians in the state for the matured way they have conducted themselves so far, the Governor stressed the importance of the conduct of politicians during and after the elections.
He commended the Police for making it possible for candidates for elective positions and their political parties to sign the violence-free elections accord observing, “this event is very key to the success of the 2015 general elections.”
“We need peaceful elections, no position is worth dying for, eight years is very short, four years is even shorter and you are in the field again, it is not necessary to go to the extent of engaging in violence,” he added.
The Governor described the shift in dates of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as laudable, saying, “some people are not happy but a lot of people are happy.”
He urged spiritual leaders, journalists, retired military men, among others to engage in actions which would engender peaceful electioneering process.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr Musa Daura zone 5, said it was important for peaceful elections to be achieved, emphasising that “we must all be in the vanguard for a credible and acceptable electoral process.
He said: “We have resolved to provide an electoral environment free of intimidation and politicians should play the game by the rules bearing in mind that politicians are sportsmen. We should shun criminal and electoral violence before, during and after the elections.”
Speaking on peace, the Bishop of Asaba Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu urged politicians to imbibe the virtue of humility and avoid acts of desperation in their quest to achieving their political ambitions.
On his part, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the INEC in the state, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak said despite the shift in dates for the elections, “we will deliver a credible election not only in Delta but Nigeria.”
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Alkali Baba Usman in an address, said, must not only agree but equally realize the need to be more democratic in the conduct of political activities within the ambits of the law with a view to ensuring peace, understanding and respect for one another.
“The Commands posture is that of zero tolerance to political violence under whatever guise, the Command is committed and poised to provide violence -free environment for all peace loving Nigerians/foreign nationalities resident in Delta State before during and after the general elections”, he stated.
Furthermore, he said: “To this end, the Command has put in place special investigation teams to investigate and prosecute all infractions on the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in conjunction with the INEC and of course all extant laws in force”.
“Parents and guardians alike should warn their children/wards against being used as a veritable instrument to create confusion in the state as the full wrath of the law will be made to bear on such errant individuals or group of persons along with their sponsors”, the police commissioner added.
Meanwhile, a bid to ensure that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gets 100 per cent votes in the forthcoming elections, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan charged political leaders to head to their different units and ensure that their people vote for the party in the elections.
Addressing members of the campaign organisation of the PDP in Asaba recently, the Governor observed that the shift in date for the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has provided more room for people to collect their permanent voters’ card (PVC) which would make them eligible to vote.
“As a party that has been on ground since 1998, we have enough man power to win in every election,” the Governor said, adding, “political leaders, coordinators and candidates at the local government, ward and unit levels must work together, continue with our mobilisation campaign at the grassroots to give us victory, nobody should be too big to be part of the ward team.”
The Governor frowned at reports that some candidates of the party were not carrying some members along, asserting that no one should be taken for granted when it comes to elections. He urged the candidates to reach out to everybody not-minding their political leaning or views.
He stated, “some of the candidates have to come down from their high horses, we should not take anything for granted, it should not be a master/servant relationship, it is your duty as a candidate to reach out to aggrieved persons, our candidates should stoop low and meet the people that contested with them in the primaries so that they can get the support of all.”
On PVC, the Governor reiterated that collection of PVC was very important and observed that the shift in date of the elections by the INEC would enable prospective voters collect their PVCs.
“We are still having challenges with our PVC collections, without the card, you cannot vote, the card reader can only take the PVC, it cannot accept the TVC, our people should all collect their PVCs,” he said.
The gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa called for a coordinated campaign to enable the party achieve victory at the polls while the chairman of the party in the state, Chief Edwin Uzor urged members of the PDP to work as one united family to achieve victory at the polls.