Anambra governorship candidates signed a peace accord on November 4, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
By Valentine Amanze
All candidates in the November 6, 2021 Anambra State governorship election on Thursday signed a peace accord in Awka, the state captial.
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, was present at the ceremony, which was facilitated by the National Peace Committee (NPC) to herald the election on Saturday.
The NPC is chaired by former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Ifeanyi Uba of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) were among the signees on Thursday, according to Channels Television.
Others were Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, Godwin Maduka of the Accord Party (AP), Etiaba Chukwuogo of the Action Alliance (AA), Nwankwo Chidozie of the African Action Congress (AAC), Onyejegbu Okwudili of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Ohajimkpo Emeka of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Ezenwafor Victor of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), Nnamdi Nwawuo of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Uzo Godwin of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Okonkwo Francis of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Anambra, as in much of the South-East, has witnessed several ‘gunmen’ attacks, casting doubts on the safety of the elections.
The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has also threatened the sanctity of the election if its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is not released from detention.
But the Federal Government has beefed up security in the state, pledging a free and fair poll.
On Tuesday, Senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe urged voters to show up at the polls, noting that the elections will be safe.
What the peace accord demands
The accord is equally binding on the candidate’s political parties and is expected to encourage signees to take proactive steps “towards ensuring a conducive environment for the conduct of a credible electoral process.”
The signees also pledged to “fully abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to respect the rules and regulations as laid down in the Legal Framework for Elections in Nigeria, and to adhere to best international standards.”
Under the accord, the candidates and their parties are expected to “support all institutions of government involved in conducting or securing the elections – in particular INEC and the security forces – to act with professionalism, impartiality and transparency.”