Ahead of the Saturday’s governorship election in Edo state candidates of political parties today signed a Peace Accord.
The deal which was organised by the National Peace Committee was held at Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre in Benin City, the state capital.
However, in attendance is the Chairman, National Peace Committee and former Head of State, Abdulsalam Abubakar, member of the committee and Catholic Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah among others.
Also, members of the political, traditional, and religious circles were there to witness the signing, to pave way for the smooth conduct of the exercise.
Among the personalities at the event were Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Representative of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), DIG Adeleye Oyebade, and representatives of the Benin Monarch.
Abubakar while addressing said that members of his committee were in the state to assist in ensuring that the September 19 gubernatorial election was conducted peacefully.
According to him, the political temperature in the state has been high in some areas for sometime, and the peace committee decided to assist in calming tensions because if there is no peace, there can’t be any elections.
Bishop Kukah warned that the signing of the peace accord shouldn’t be seen as a “mere ceremony.”
Speaking to Channels Television, a member of YIAGA Africa’s board, Ezenwa Nwagu, said the accord is necessary following the previous narrative that suggests the drums of war in the election.
According to him, YIAGA in collaboration with the National Peace Committee organised the event to douse tension in some quarters and avoid bloodshed on Saturday.
“The Peace Committee led by General Abubakar, Mathew Kukah, and the rest of them have moral weight and authority.
“So YIAGA Africa, working with the peace committee, decided to source that moral weight to bring it to bear on political actors in Edo State to ensure they understand that this election is about the Edo people and their livelihood,” he said.
He is however optimistic that the poll would be commended smoothly with a governor emerging to govern the state for the next four years.