February 02, (THEWILL) – Six political parties out of eight billed to take part in the Ebonyi South Senatorial bye-election slated for Saturday, this week, have signed a peace accord to ensure there is peaceful and orderly conduct of the election.
The political parties that signed the peace pact include the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Action Peoples Party (APP), African Democratic Congress ADC and the Labour Party, LP.
Others include the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), while the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) shunned the exercise.
Addressing stakeholders and party representatives at the state collation centre, INEC Headquarters in Abakaliki, the venue for the exercise, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ebonyi State, Mrs. Pauline Ugochi, said that in the build-up to the election, the Commission has convened a series of meetings where stakeholders were briefed on the level of preparedness for the bye-election.
“In the build-up to the Ebonyi South Senatorial bye-election that comes up this Saturday, we have had a series of meetings where we have always briefed stakeholders on the level of our preparedness for the conduct of the election,” she explained.
Mrs Ugochi called on voters in the five local government areas where the election will be held to come out en masse and vote for the candidate of their choice, adding that the signing of the peace accord would checkmate thuggery and violence in all the polling units.
She further called on security agencies in the state to show the highest level of patriotism, discipline and responsibility while on their election duties.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner urged the political parties and their candidates to adhere strictly to the content of the peace agreement to ensure that voting was orderly and successful.
INEC’s Supervisory National Commissioner, Mr. Kenneth Ukeagu, said that the Commission is poised to conduct free, fair and credible elections and assured that the electoral umpire would be impartial in the conduct of the election.
Mr. Ukeagu noted that INEC has put up efforts to ensure a hitch-free election at the weekend and called on politicians to shun thuggery and other forms of electoral offences.
His words: “The Commission has done everything possible to ensure that the INEC bye-election holding this weekend across the nation is peaceful and credible. So, I call on the electorate to do their part in helping us to achieve positive results.”
The signing of the peace accord was witnessed by representatives of some federal establishments in the state, including the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Police and other security agencies in the state.
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