48hrs To Osun Guber: Oyetola, Adeleke, Others Sign Peace Deal

48hrs To Osun Guber: Oyetola, Adeleke, Others Sign Peace Deal
  • INEC pledges transparency
  • Police on red alert
  • IPAC cautions against violence

Richard Akintade, Osogbo And Muyiwa Oyinlola, Abuja

Thirteen political parties yesterday signed a peace accord toward peaceful conduct of the July 16 Osun State governorship election.

The parties include the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Action Alliance, AA. While the Labour Party, LP; the Social Democratic Party, SDP and the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, were among the parties that were absent.

Spokesperson of the Labour Party, LP, in the state, Oyewole Oladimeji, said the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Yusuf Lasun, was absent at the peace agreement meeting because he was hosting their presidential candidate, Peter Obi, at a rally in Osogbo.

“Today was our mega rally and Peter Obi was around, he cannot neglect such a person”, Mr Oladimeji said.

“If security of the state failed to sympathise with him over the gunshot in his house, you should know they have ulterior motives”.

Speaking at the ceremony organised by the National Peace Committee in Osogbo, the state capital, Bishop Matthew Kukah, urged all political parties featuring at the election to work toward peace.

Kukah, is the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, said Nigeria is in need of a peaceful environment and hence the need to encourage political actors to think toward peace.

He said that violence has been one of the fundamental threats to Nigeria’s democracy.

According to him, civil society organisations, religious groups, traditional institutions and other key actors have roles to play in achieving peace in Nigeria.

Kukah urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, political actors and other stakeholders to ensure that the election was free, fair and peaceful.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that the success of the peace accord depends on all stakeholders.

Yakubu said that the INEC has taken steps to ensure credible Osun Guber election on July 16 and appealed to all candidates to strive hard to abide by the peace accord.

The Inspector General of Police, I-G, Mr Usman Baba, promised that the election would witness an improved security situation over that of Ekiti.

Baba, represented by Deputy Inspector General, DIG, Mr Johnson Kokumo, assured of a level playing ground for all candidates.

AljazirahNigeria reports that Baba had earlier on Tuesday said 21,000 police officers would be deployed for the governorship election.

He made the disclosure in Osogbo at the Osun 2022 Governorship Election Stakeholders’ Meeting organised by the INEC.

The IGP, however, said that the deployment was not to intimidate residents but to prevent miscreants from hijacking or disrupting the election process.

He said the deployed officers would provide security, protect the electorate, INEC personnel and materials before, during and after the election.

He added that the officers deployed had already been trained and made aware of the rules of engagement, adding that the police remained apolitical and they were to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

In the same vein, Yakubu, stressed that the Commission was fully ready to conduct the Osun election.

According to him, the election materials have already been deployed to all the state INEC local government area offices.

Yakubu said sensitive materials would be delivered to the wards 24 hours to the election and the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, collection would still continue until today, Thursday, two days to the poll.

Giving the records on PVC collection in the state, Mahmood added that out of the 1,955,657 registered voters in Osun, 1,479,959 voters have collected their PVCs as of INEC record of Sunday July 10.

He said the INEC would also be setting a record as Persons With Disabilities, PWDs, would also be deployed as ad hoc staff selected from the NYSC, corps members, for the election, asking the electorate to cooperate and protect them.

He said that five INEC National Commissioners, 12 Resident Electoral Commissioners and other senior INEC officers would be in the state to support the Osun office to deliver a credible, free, fair and conclusive election. 

Meanwhile, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has cautioned candidates featuring in the governorship election against all forms of intimidation and violence.

Addressing a news conference yesterday in Osogbo, the IPAC National Chairman, Mr Yabagi Sani, said that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the conduct of the election was peaceful.

Sani said that all forms of molestation, intimidation and harassment of voters or electoral officials must not be allowed.

He also appealed  to the security agencies  to provide adequate security for the poll and tasked security agents deployed for the election to ensure professionalism and ethical standards.

Sani also urged the INEC to ensure that the election was free, fair and credible.

“INEC must give hope to the people of Osun, the rest of the nation and the world at large, the era of daylight robbery of the people’s right to choose their representatives is over in Nigeria.

“To us in the IPAC, the Osun election is another litmus test for the INEC after a similar election in Ekiti”, Sani said.

He also appealed to the electorate not to allow themselves to be intimidated or deceived by selling their votes.

“To the people of Osun, the message from the IPAC is that, they must resist all attempts to be deceived, intimidated or induced into compromising their fundamental, inalienable right to freely elect the political leaders of their choice.

”In other words, for whatever reasons, the electorate must be guided by their conscience, their obligations to the advancement of their welfare, their security, the happiness and prosperity of the future generations”, he said.

Sani said that the signing of the Peace Accord by the political parties was a sign of commitment toward ensuring that the election was peaceful, credible and devoid of violence.

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