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Ekiti Poll: SDP chieftain kidnapped as candidates sign peace treaty

Candidates of all political parties participating in the Ekiti State governorship elections this coming weekend on Wednesday signed a peace accord promising a non violence poll.

The accord treaty is coming on the heels of a report that a politician, Hon Kayode Adelusi was kidnapped from his Ado-Ekiti home on Tuesday night. Adelusi, a member of the Social Democratic Party(SDP) is popularly known as Kay Photo in Ado-Ekiti. He is a former Ward Councilor in Ado-Ekiti Local Government Council. He was allegedly kidnapped in house along Igirigiri road, Odo-Ado, Ado-Ekiti. The kidnappers allegedly stormed the area in an 18 Sitter passenger bus with which they whisked him away. His whereabout is still unknown as at press time.

The signing of the peace accord took place at the Amazing Grace Events Center, Ado-Ekiti under the direction of the National Peace Committee led by former Head of State, General Abdusalam Abubakar, who was ably represented by the convener, Bishop Mathew Has San Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese.

The event was witnessed by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, who again promised Ekiti people that the Saturday poll will be free and fair.

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu at the event

In his remarks, Prof Yakubu expressed INEC’s appreciation to the National Peace Committee which comprises of respected statesmen, religious and traditional rulers who are non-partisan and working voluntarily to promote peaceful elections in Nigeria.

Prof Yakubu stated: “Today, we are honoured by the presence of the Convener of the NPC, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah. By its consistent engagement, the NPC has demonstrated that moral suasion is as important as statutory authority in promoting peace in our country;

Since the Edo State Governorship election held in September 2020, followed by the Ondo State Governorship election in October 2020 and the Anambra State Governorship election in November 2021, political parties and candidates have signed the Peace Accord under the auspices of the National Peace Committee;

The intervention of the Peace Committee no doubt contributed in no small way to the peaceful conduct of previous Governorship elections. We are confident that the Ekiti State Governorship election holding this Saturday will not be different. Working with civil society organisations, the media, security agencies, traditional and religious institutions, and other stakeholders, INEC will continue to partner with the Peace Committee for peaceful elections in Nigeria;

I urge parties and candidates in Ekiti State to realise that without peace, our deployment plans; new innovations in voter accreditation and result management; the safety of voters, election duty staff, observers and the journalists; security of materials; and, ultimately, the credibility of elections will be undermined. No credible election can be achieved in an atmosphere of disruption, violence and disorder. It is, therefore, important for everyone to maintain the peace;

The success of the Peace Accord rests on three pedestals: the political actors, INEC and security agencies. Speaking for INEC, I wish to assure the Peace Committee of our commitment to transparent and credible elections. Working for the last 12 months since June 2021 when we released the Timetable for the Ekiti State Governorship election, it is inconceivable that INEC will undermine itself, especially on Election Day and beyond. I want to assure you all that the votes of the Ekiti people will count;

The truth is that the Peace Accord is not an automated, self-actualising process. Let me therefore call on all political parties and candidates to abide by the letter and spirit of the Accord by appealing to your supporters to maintain the peace before, during and after the elections. This will be your own way of showing commitment to the Peace Accord and appreciation for the work of the Peace Committee”.

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