POLITICAL PARTIES IN ENUGU STATE SIGN PEACE ACCORD
Elections in Enugu State since its creation have largely been relatively peaceful. But recently, there has been a rising wave of violence targeted at political party campaign houses, bill boards, posters, party officials and their property.
This must have prompted the Enugu State Police Command to organize a one day stakeholders meeting on “Election Security” where some political parties in the State signed peace accord to ensure peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections in the area. The forum provided an opportunity for interest groups in the electoral process in the State to chat a way forward towards ensuring a violence free electioneering and general election.
The peace agreement constraints leadership of political parties and their members to abide by the rule of the game, shunning any act or utterance that can incite the public before, during and after the elections. The Commissioner of police in Enugu State and Convener of the event reiterated the readiness of his officers and men to ensure rancour free elections, warning that the command would deal with perpetrators of electoral violence in the State.
“We are going to provide adequate security before, during and after the elections. Let me assure you that anyone who engages in the act of thuggery will be apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law.”
The State Intervention Lead, Nigeria Policing Programme of the DFID, Mr Solomon Akpanufot, said the British Government would assist the police to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the State.
The Enugu State Governor represented by his Deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo pleaded with the political parties not to allow their interest to jeopardize the existing tranquility in the State.
“Let us not allow our interest to divide us. All the political parties should please be guided by the Electoral Law”.
The State Chairman of PDP, Chief Augustine Nnamani described the peace agreement as a welcome development while that of the APC, Dr Ben Nwonoye said it was a just a mere routine.
“A lot have taken place that warrants this exercise. We from PDP are highly excited; our expectation is that all the political parties involved should ensure that the aim of this exercise is maintained.”…. Nnamani advised.
“Every electoral circle, mockery is made that we are going to be peaceful, am telling you that we are under attack, our vehicles are being burnt, our bill boards are being destroyed.” ….Nwoye stated.
Some party candidates including Chief Eugene Odo, Chief Paul Nnajiofor, Chief Ikechukwu Ezeugwu and Chief Sam Ngene commended the Enugu State Police for the event, promising to play according to the rules. The event attracted party stalwarts, other security agencies, traditional rulers, journalists, INEC and some Non Governmental Organisations