A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Kaduna - Ahead of the March 28 and April 11 general elections, a peace meeting at the instance of the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of zone 7 was held in Kaduna on Wednesday, where candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties signed a peace pact, agreeing to provide an enabling environment for peaceful polls.
Some of the candidates who signed the peace accord include Kaduna State governor Ramalan Yero of the PDP and former FCT minister Nasir El-rufai of the APC.
The AIG in charge of zone 7, comprising Niger, Kaduna and Abuja, Patrick Dokumor, who organised the peace accord, vowed to take on any candidate and their supporters who breach the peace and deal decisively with such errant persons.
He said, “This country is greater than any individual or group. Therefore, no group of people will be allowed to set this country ablaze. We will not spare anybody. Whoever it may be, we will not tolerate that any longer,” he said.
Addressing the meeting, Governor Yero, who is also seeking re-election on the platform of the PDP, said the peace pact was in the interest of the people.
Yero said, “I will like to register here that APC has finishes its campaign but we still have four local governments to cover in our statewide campaign.
“We are aware of the tactics they have been using against us. But we should respect what we have come to do here. We will replace our posters and we do not expect anybody to remove them.
“Anybody who know how I became governor will know that it is only God that gives power to whom He wishes. If Mukhtar is not elected, I will support whoever emerges. So to me, election is not a do-or-die affair,” he reiterated.
On his part before signing the peace pact, the APC governorship candidate in the state, El-Rufai noted that the party cannot guarantee the reaction of its supporters if INEC dares shift the election date again.
He therefore suggested that another point be added to the terms of agreement which must be binding that the election date will not be shifted any further, the suggestion was however turned down by the police on grounds that election date fixing is not their responsibility but only to ensure peaceful election.
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El-rufai also describe the initiative as a welcome development, promised to play his own role at ensuring peaceful conduct of campaigns and elections.
The candidate of the Labour party and former Deputy Governor of the state Engineer James Bawa Magaji and the candidates of APGA and ADC all agreed to confirm with the terms of the peace pact to ensure a violent free polls.
The police on the final note assured all the candidate that it will provide an enabling environment for all candidates that will allow for a peaceful campaigns and the general elections, but further warned that it will not tolerate any break down of laws and order.
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