ighteen political parties featuring in the 2023 general election in Delta have signed a peace accord toward ensuring a rancour free poll.
Speaking at the ceremony, Rev. Monday Udoh-Tom, the state Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) said the accord was to ensure peaceful conduct of the election.
He said that INEC in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations and stakeholders deemed it necessary to sign the accord in order to ensure that the election was carried out in an atmosphere of peace.
Udoh-Tom said that no meaningful development can thrive in an environment of war, violence, crisis and conflicts.
”Where there is peace, there is a sustaining meaningful development, peaceful atmosphere and joy,” he said.
He also said that the peace pact was in demonstration of the commission’s resolve to provide a level playing field for all political parties, to enable citizens come out without fear to cast their votes.
Udoh-Tom expressed displeasure over absence of some political actors at the event.
In his remarks, the National Coordinator, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Mr Sheriff Mulade said that the importance of peace in any process cannot be overemphasized.
Mulade said that the election was meant to be peaceful for the voice of the people to count.
“We are working toward peaceful election. We stand on peace, support peace and encourage peace for a peaceful election,” hesaid.
The representative of the Commissioner of Police, SP Michael Obekpa said that the police and other security agencies have concluded necessary arrangements to ensure a peaceful electioneering process.
Obekpa said that adequate officers have been assigned to all the polling units and those to accompany and secure the election materials across the state.
He said that the security agencies were conversant with challenges being faced during election and assured of measures to ensure a hitch free process.
“We urge citizens to be law abiding,” he said.
Also, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Precious Nwadimuya said that the association had assembled a team to monitor the election to ensure duly prosecution of violators of the law.
The representative of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Chris Anyabuine appealed to political parties and citizens to embrace peace, saying that the signing of the peace accord was aimed at ensuring peace before, during and after the election.
The representative of Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Pastor Edewor Egegemgbe charged all the political parties to ensure that the spirit of the peace pact remained sacred in their heart.
Mrs Angela Esodeghe, the state INEC Head of Legal Services, said the accord would ensure free, fair and credible election that will be acceptable to all.