The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said on Thursday all the governorship candidates for the September 19 election in Edo State would sign a peace accord.
Yakubu, who disclosed this during the daily media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the exercise would take next Tuesday.
He also disclosed that about 17,000 ad hoc staff would be recruited for the election
Governorship Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, are among the candidates taking part in the election.
Yakubu said: “I can only assure you of the efforts that we are making to ensure there is no violence. A couple of weeks ago, we were in Benin City.
“What did we go there to do? First to speak with officials of INEC. And I invited the electoral officers from all the 18 local government areas to our meeting.
“Thereafter, I had an engagement with the representatives of all the security agencies in Benin, from the Police to the SSS to the Security and Civil Defence, even the Prison Service and the Fire Service.
“We had an engagement with the State COVID-19 Response in Benin. And then, we visited his majesty, the Oba of Benin. At that meeting, his majesty promised us that he was going to invite some of the candidates in the election and speak to them on the importance of peaceful conduct and I am happy to say that he did that.
“But in addition, I carried a message to his royal majesty from the National Peace Committee led by our respectable former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
“The National Peace Committee just like INEC and every conscientious Nigerian is also concerned about the fear of violence in elections. And then, the National Peace Committee is organising the signing of a high-profile peace accord in Benin on Tuesday next week.
“So, we leave for Benin this weekend. We will hold a stakeholders’ meeting with all the candidates and parties, civil society groups, the media, everybody, on Monday. Then, on Tuesday, we will now witness the signing of the peace accord.
“I hope that these efforts that we are making will lead to the kind of outcome that we are talking about.”
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