In a significant move towards fostering a peaceful electoral process, 18 political parties participating in the upcoming gubernatorial poll in Imo have collectively pledged to avoid violence before, during, and after the election. The peace accord, facilitated by the National Peace Committee (NPC), aims to ensure a smooth and tranquil electoral atmosphere.
Former Head of State and Chairman of the Committee, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), conveyed a message in a recorded video, urging the Imo electorate to actively participate in electing their preferred governor. He emphasized the responsibility of voters in selecting representatives and cautioned against complacency in the face of governance challenges.
Abubakar also advised youths against being manipulated into engaging in electoral violence, emphasizing the potential consequences for society. Additionally, he called on security agencies to refrain from intimidating voters, while urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and credible polls.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, expressed gratitude to NPC for its consistent support in promoting peaceful elections and democracy. Yakubu sought the cooperation of security agencies, political parties, and candidates to ensure the success of the peace accord. He emphasized the commission’s commitment to credible and transparent elections and urged adherence to the spirit of the peace accord.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, represented by DIG Frank Mba, commended NPC for institutionalizing the peace accord, considering its vital role in mitigating electoral violence. Egbetokun assured voters in Imo of a secure environment for exercising their franchise and pledged political neutrality in providing a level playing field for all stakeholders.
Speaking on behalf of the political parties and candidates, the state chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council, Mr. Levi Ekeh, underscored the significance of the peace accord in ensuring a peaceful and harmonious electoral process.