DELTA 2023: CEPEJ, PIND task political parties on peaceful guber poll, as candidates sign peace accord
As part of efforts to ensure peace at the forthcoming Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Delta state, the Centre For Peace And Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) in conjunction with Foundation for Partnership Initiatives In The Niger Delta (PIND), on Wednesday, in Effurun area of the state, brought together the local Government Council Chairmen and their representatives in the state to sign a peace accord.
Speaking at the ceremony, CEPEJ Country Director, Comrade Mulade Sheriff heaped on the imperatives of peace as a requisite for free, fair, credible elections, noting that the reason for the gathering was for stakeholders and political parties in particular to pledge their commitment to peace, encourage institutions of government including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies in their discharge of duties on the election date.
He encouraged Governorship and Delta State House of Assembly Elections contestants in the 2023, to run issue-based campaigns in the Local Government and Community Levels.
While he advised contestants to refrain from campaigns that will involve religious incitement, ethnic or tribal profiling, Chief Mulade called on contenders, party leaders, agents and supporters to refrain from making inflammatory statements.
On her part, Mrs B. Oyem, Deputy Director, National Orientation Agency, stated that voting in an election is a civic responsibility that all eligible voters in the country must commit to in order to produce free , fair and credible elections in the country.
Giving background to the institution that she represents, she explained that the National Orientation Agency was established by the federal government as an Agency that communicates government policies, programs, and strategies to the grassroots and local levels, so that citizens will be aware of government activities and support them.
NOA, according to her, is particularly mandated to re-orientate the populace on positive values and attitudes that promote peace and development.
Even as she observed that the Agency has commenced nationwide voter education campaign in preparation for the successful conduct of the ongoing on elections.
“This means sensitizing and educating eligible voters to participate actively in elections, recognize the political parties they wish to vote for, knowing their party symbols/logos, names, personalities and ideologies,” Oyem concluded.
Amb. Prince D. Ebilade, who spoke on behalf of PIND, highlighted the role played by PIND in supporting peaceful elections in the state and across the Niger Delta region.
Pointing that peace is everybodys responsibility and commitment of all stakeholders, to take action by monitoring, reporting and mitigating election violence incidents, before, during and after the elections.
The program officer, representing the Peacebuilding manager, Dr. David Udofia, commended PIND for supporting non violence election project as part of its peacebuilding efforts: as an organisation that believes in the commitment and partnership of stakeholders in ensuring a peaceful society.
He commended CEPEJ and called on all stakeholders, political parties and candidates to adhere to the Peace Accord signed and play by the rules, to advise their supporters against perpetrating violence, during and after the elections.