People hold signs to protest postponement of elections in Abuja. (File: AFP)
Lagos - Heated argument, disagreement and confusion raged at the meeting convened by the Police in Enugu state for the traditional signing of the pact for non-violence in the forthcoming general elections as adopted by the national leadership of the various political parties.
The meeting which was held at the conference room of Enugu state police command was at the instance of the Assistant Inspector General of police, Zone 9 Umuahia, AIG Usman Gwary had in attendance party chairmen and candidates contesting various positions in the elections.
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It is also in furtherance of Inspector General of police directive that the state chapters of the parties sign the accord.
As the AIG introduced some of the details of the pact, the party leaders however threatened not to sign due to the absence of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and representative of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu state.
They further accused the PDP of orchestrating violence through removal of posters and bill boards of other parties and wondered why they were not represented at the meeting.
I came here specifically to meet with PDP and tell them what they are doing, just this morning in Nsukka, PDP campaign posters were used to cover the whole of APC office in the Area.
When you talk of violence there is no other party that you should hold responsible more than the ruling PDP in the state, so it makes no sense that we are signing an accord without them, The Governorship candidate of All Progressives Party (APC), Barrister, Okey Ezea reckoned.
Also speaking, a representative of the Party for Democratic Change and a former House of Representatives member, Hon KGB Aguokwa asked that the parties be given the document to go and study and come back at a later date when other stakeholders including INEC would be present.
The event that led to the ceremonial signing of the accord by the presidential candidates in Abuja was a result of series of meetings and consultations by the stakeholders.
It was not supervised by the police; rather INEC was present to witness the event unlike what we have here today. Our part believes in service to humanity and we must do things right, he insisted. Others who spoke at the event wondered if the document would be binding on the parties and candidates not present at the meeting.
They equally asked for a commitment to fairness by the police and security agencies.
Responding, the state commissioner of police assured the parties of a level playing field and appealed to politicians to take the message of non violence down to their supporters.
The party stakeholders and candidates later signed the accord but insisted that the parties absent be made to sign as well before having their copies.