Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The gubernatorial candidates of various political parties contesting for the 2023 governorship seat in Abia State, Tuesday, signed a peace pact.
This is as the chairmen of various political parties in the state pledged to be peaceful in the conduct of their activities and to avoid actions capable of igniting crisis.
Commissioner of Police, Abia State, Mr Mustapha Mohamed Bala, who organized the event in synergy with other security agencies, warned against hate speech and destruction of opponents’ billboards.
The police boss said that law enforcement agents would not hesitate to visit the full weight of law on anyone engaging in activities capable of generating crisis.
He urged contestants and political stakeholders to comport themselves and political activities peaceably, and avoid politics of bitterness.
The CP also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to provide level play ground for all the candidates irrespective of their political parties.
“Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as an umpire is expected to treat every player equally. Together, we shall achieve free, fair and credible general election come 2023.”
He assured the protection of lives and property of all citizens before, during and after the polls.
In a remark, the Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council IPAC, who doubles as Labour Party Chairman, Hon. Ceekay Igara, appealed to INEC and security agencies and other stakeholders to treat all parties equally to avoid rancour.
According to him, lack of justice makes political parties not to comply with the rules of the game.
“INEC and other stakeholders should be fair to all; there is no small or big party, all are equal because anybody could be anything.”
In a remark, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu thanked the police and other security agencies for their efforts towards the peaceful conduct of the 2023 elections in the state.
The Governor who was represented by his Commissioner for Documentation, Mr Ugochukwu Emezue, said that Abia had never been known for electoral violence.
He said his administration was fully committed towards peaceful conduct of the 2023 polls, and urged all contestants to play according to the rule of the game.
Gov. Ikpeazu further urged voters who registered but had not collected their Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs, to ensure they do so before the window provided by INEC.
Ikpeazu who said that Abians are one people irrespective of their political affiliations, urged everyone to promote peace and unity of the state.