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
Owerri - Eleven governorship candidates and 19 political party chairmen in Imo State on Thursday signed an accord to maintain peace during and after the general elections.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the event also warned politicians believing they would snatch ballot boxes like in past elections, to drop the idea as the commission has made all necessary arrangement to check such conduct.
Commissioner of Police, Abdulmajid Ali, during the event at the Police Command Headquarters, Owerri, warned politicians, including governorship candidates and their supporters, to desist from any act capable of disrupting peaceful conduct of the elections.
“Anybody arrested for fomenting trouble during and after the elections will be decisively dealt with.” He said all local security outfits and uniforms other than that of the police would not be allowed during the election.
Also read: APC, PDP, others sign peace accord in Ogun
Also, Director of State Security Services, SSS, Olusegun Adegboye, said any form of thuggery or illegal carrying of arms on election days would not be tolerated.
Explaining the level of preparedness, he said: “Only approved security agents would be allowed to monitor the election.
We are prepared for the election as we are not going to ttolerate any act that would jeopardise peaceful conduct of the elections.”
Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Gabriel Ada, said the commission was prepared for the election, adding that it has distributed about 1.4 million Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, in the state.
He said the state had received 15 000 card readers as “every polling booth has card reader attached to it.”
He, however, appealed to the governorship candidates to mobilise their supporters to vote for them, as there would be no room for ballot box snatching during the election.
Except for Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and All Progressives Congress, APC, chairman in the state, Hilary Eke, who were not at the event, other parties that signed the agreement included Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Labour Party, Accord Party, Alliance for Democracy governorship candidates and chairmen.
Although no reason was provided for the governor shunning the peace meeting, the police commissioner who regretted the absence, however, revealed that the governor initiated the event.
Deputy governor Eze Madumere, who represented the governor at the event, was barred from signing the peace document as he was said not to be the arrow head for the election.
The event attracted all the security agencies and other paramilitary agencies such as Customs, Immigration, Civil Defence, prisons, and was attended by AIG zone 9 boss, Buhari Usman.
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