Eben Enasco Reporting.
There are indications that the general elections will be peaceful, and credible in Nigeria following various measures put in place by electoral umpires in the treaty reached between them and Critical Stakeholders in Edo State.
The aim of the gathering was geared toward having a veritable interface that will address grey areas ahead of the 2023 polls.
Hosted on Thursday, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in collaboration with Heads of Security Services at the Police officer’s Mess in Benin City, Political Parties in the state, consolidated to have a hitch-free election when they signed the peace Pact.
Speaking at the event, the host, Electoral umpire, INEC, State Residents Electoral Commissioner, Rec, Obo Effanga upheld the commission’s beliefs to conduct a credible election during the February 25, and March 11, 2023 elections in the state.
Effanga affirmed that, with the level of human efforts and resources committed, INEC will maintain neutrality in the coming elections, just as he cautioned stakeholders on the need to play by the rules.
He appealed to Nigerians to support the commission in the attainment of the 2023 polls.
On his part, Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Dankwara who led other Security Agents in the state re-echoed their position to deal with troublemakers no matter how highly placed in the society.
He said the police and other security agencies in the state are turbocharged to enforce the law when necessary, urging political parties and their supporters to play by the rules to have peaceful conduct of the election.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Edo State Council, Comrade Festus Alenkhe argued that modalities have been put in place by the leadership of the union to have Journalists in the State report accurate results as announced by the electoral umpire.
Alenkhe, however, charged, INEC, and Security Operatives to provide security for journalists who may want to cover critical incidents but are likely to face aggressive behavior from Political groups and their supporters who may be engrossed in violating the rules.
In the meantime, the chairman, of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Benin Branch, Nosa Edo-Osagie, said the legal community is disturbed by the campaign of calumny and names calling.
He said those that regularly destroy others may destroy their means of livelihood, thereby, destroying the essence of their leaving, urging politicians to choose their words carefully to avoid slander pressed against them.
For the Civil Society Collaborators, there was a deliberate attempt to Challenge the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, to up the ante in tracking the financier’s sources of Vote buying before the elections.
Represented by comrade Emmanuel Ogbidi who spoke on behalf of other CSOs in the state, argued that if the EFCC is serious about curbing vote buying, it must channel its efforts towards arresting the kingpins not waiting to approach it at the polling centers
For the political parties who signed the peace accord, including the All Progressives Congress Party, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Action Alliance, AA, Boot Party, BT, Young Progressives Party, YPP, and New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP among others agreed that it was a right step in the right direction.