The governorship candidates in Abia State have made fresh moves towards ensuring peace.
They signed a peace accord in preparation for next week’s guber and House of Assembly polls.
The peace accord signing event, put together by the Abia State Police Command was held at the Police Officers’ Mess in Umuahia.
Guber candidates and Chairmen of different political parties in the state were all in attendance.
In his remarks at the event, Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Bala explained that the peace agreement was put together to ensure peaceful Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Abia State.
The Commissioner of Police who assured that officers and men under his Command had been trained for effective election duties, promised that the Police would work in synergy with other security agencies in maintaining law and order throughout the election period.
He tasked Abians to conduct themselves in a responsible manner while voting for the candidates of their choice.
In their contributions, Abia State Administration Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Clement Oha promised that the Commission would deliver credible elections to Abians.
INEC assured that modalities had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free election even as it acknowledged that next week’s polls would be more contentious than the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly exercise.
His words: “There were substantial peaceful elections during Presidential and National Assembly elections in Abia State but this election is more contentious because its like neighbour-to-neighbour. It is a grassroots affair but we are prepared to deliver credible elections .”
Speaking on behalf of other parties’ Chairmen, the Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Mr Ceakay Igara appealed to INEC to ensure free and fair polls.
The IPAC Chairman also advised guber candidates to control the behaviour of their teeming supporters and to maintain the spirit of sportsmanship during and after the Match 18 elections.
Administering the Oath of agreement on the guber candidates, the Officer in Charge of Legal Department, Abia State Police Command, Gladys Imekhun cautioned the candidates against inciting violence but to maintain a high level of peace before, during and after the elections.
In his brief remarks, the candidate of Action Peoples Party, APP, Mascot Uzor Kalu charged INEC to ensure the early arrival of election materials on March 18, to avoid a repeat of the February 25 episode.
Speaking on behalf of other candidates, the guber candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Bishop Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha praised the Nigeria Police, Abia State Command for the peace accord initiative.
The Methodist Bishop, Onuoha on behalf of others, promised to behave peacefully and to eschew violent utterances and other inimical conducts.
The candidates who participated in the peace signing event included, Okey Ahaiwe of PDP, Ikechi Emenike of APC, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of ADC, Ukpai Iroh of NNPP, Mascot Uzor Kalu of APP, Enyinnaya Nwafor of YPP among others.
The Nigerian Army was represented at the event while heads of various security agencies also witnessed the ceremony.