Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, all the political parties and their candidates, particularly the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday signed a peace accord to ensure peaceful conduct before, during and after the election.
The peace deal signed in Benin City, Edo State capital, which seeks to douse the rising pre-election tension was brokered by the Nigeria Peace Committee (NPC), led by a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd); and supported by the Kukah Centre for Faith, Leadership and Public Policy, headed by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
The peace deal occurred on the day Obaseki and the PDP berated the National Leader of the APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, for his campaign against the Edo State governor.
The former Lagos State governor had in a viral video called on the people of Edo State to reject Obaseki in the state’s governorship election holding this weekend.
Promising to abide by the peace agreement, Obaseki said he is fully committed to a peaceful election.
The Edo governor, however, appealed to the NPC to also reach out to other political actors in the election who have an influence on the polity so as to get full assurance that the process is sacrosanct.
He said: “I want to say on behalf of myself, as a candidate of the party and my party, the PDP, that we are fully committed to ensuring that we have a peaceful election. I have no choice because, in addition to being a candidate, I am also the governor and the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the state.
“I want to commit publicly, once again, that I will live by the letter and spirit of the accord that has just been signed.”
Ize-Iyamu, also promised an unwavering commitment to the peace accord.
“Let me reaffirm our commitment to what has been signed and to assure Nigerians and particularly our people in Edo State, that we will talk to all our supporters and we will conduct ourselves peacefully. We will do our best to ensure that the election is peaceful. We support free, fair and credible election. We believe that is the only way that we can sustain our democracy,” he said, adding: “We want to assure all our dignitaries that, by the grace of God, the election is going to be very peaceful. We thank you and we are grateful.”