By kehinde Emmanuel, Ilorin
Twenty five out of fifty seven registered political parties in Kwara State have agreed to conduct themselves in a peaceful Manner before during and after general elections by signing a peace accord facilitated by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Kwara State office.
The peace accord, which has representative of all security agencies in attendance was described as very necessary as result of recent political violence in the state that claimed lives and property worth millions of naira.
According to the Residence electoral commissioner in the state, Mr Attahiru Garba “I am very worried that Kwara State that is know for peace and regarded as state of Harmony has now turned to a state of violence”
“Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is in existence as result of political parties. No INEC without political parties, and I urge all political parties to talk to their supporters to follow the rules and regulations of the game. It is God that gives power and power is for service delivery to the people. We should desist from campaign of calumny and engage in Issues based campaign”
In his speech the Kwara State commissioner of police , Mr Bashir Makama, called on all political parties to always give at least 48 hours notification to security agencies before embarking on any political campaign in order for them to be given adequate security for protection of lives and properties.
He, added that, police force have started arresting political thugs who are allegedly behind the recent violence in the state, saying that they will paraded before journalists for the general public to see at the appropriate time.
The Police boss warned Political leaders to desist from buying hard drugs for their thugs, saying that this has always encourage them to go violent.
Meanwhile the Inter party advisory Council (IPAC) promised on behalf of all political parties in the state to adhered to the rules and regulations of campaign and ensure free and fair elections in the state.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state has described the ban placed on street rallies and procession by the state government as a welcome development.
It said the ban was aimed at ensuring security of lives and property of the innocent residents and as well maintain peace and order in all parts of the state.
The party in a statement by its state publicity secretary, Tunde Ashaolu said the state government and state security council’s decision on street rallies and processions by political parties was necessary and timely.
Condemning the stance of the factional governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on the development, the PDP said Abdulrazaq “is crying wolf on the ban placed on political street rallies where there is none. The move was a necessary and timely one.”
The party maintained that there was nothing undemocratic in the decision of the state governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed to ban political street rallies and processions, as it was intended to check the escalation of violence in the state.
It hailed the decision of the governor and said it was not targeted at frustrating the campaigns of any political party or candidate as alleged by the factional APC governorship candidate, but to uphold the security of the State.
“Every discerning individual will know that the ban was clearly informed by the recent violent attacks arising from political rallies in some parts of the state, with our members and supporters suffering the most casualties. It was certainly not aimed at frustrating any political party or candidate. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq should therefore, stop crying wolf where there is none.
“We strongly believe that the move was to prevent thugs and undesirable elements from hijacking any political rally or procession to wreak havoc and inflict injuries on innocent people as we have witnessed in recent days.
“While the state government acknowledges the right of political parties and candidates to hold political rallies, it also has a duty to protect lives and property of people of the state.
“In the interest of collective peace of the state, there is no sacrifice too great to ensure security and prevent a possible breakdown of law and order that could lead to unnecessary destruction of property and loss of lives.
“We believe that everything possible must be done by the various political parties and relevant stakeholders to prevent violence and unnecessary loss of lives and property before, during and after the elections. We cannot afford to turn Kwara to a hub of violence and hooliganism because of politics. We must have a state after elections.
“This is why we support every move aimed at ensuring the peace and well-being of our state. Unlike the other party, our campaigns have been conducted in a robust, peaceful and orderly manner and we shall continue to do so as we prepare for the elections.”
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