Candidates taking part in the July 16 Osun State Governorship election have signed a peace accord.
The Convener of the National Peace Committee, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, said violence is a fundamental threat to Nigeria’s democracy and urged all to shun vote selling and buying. He also advised political gladiators to show that honor and integrity cannot be substituted by money.
Kukah charged the aspirants and politicians to see the signing of the peace accord as a symbolic commitment to democracy adding that Nigeria desperately needs a peaceful environment.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu appealed to all political parties, candidates and other actors to play their part in supporting the Peace Accord. It is not enough to simply sign the Peace Accord.
Meanwhile, three candidates of political parties vying for the governorship seat in Osun State were absent at the signing of a peace accord organised National Peace Committee in Osogbo, the State capital.
They are the candidates of Accord Party, Akin Ogunbi, Labour Party, Hon. Lasun Yusuf and Social Democratic Party, Goke Omigbodun but all represented by chairmen of their various political parties.
Rev. Dr. Mathew Hassan Kukah emphasised on the need to expand the frontiers of participation in electoral process, adding that this can be achieved if members of the political class strive to earn the trust of Nigerians.
In his goodwill message, the chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission has taken every step to ensure a credible election come Saturday.
He commended candidates for agreeing to sign the peace accord stressing that It is one thing to sign but it is important to abide by the peace accord.
Represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, the IGP Usman Alkali Baba promised that the police with other sister agencies will not only replicate the success recorded in the Ekiti election but also improve on it.
“We are not only going to replicate the success we had in Ekiti State but ready to improve on it in Osun State to ensure peaceful and credible election. I can assure you, the security agencies will remain totally apolitical.”
Also, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi charged all stakeholders to prioritize peace before, during and after the election.