2019: Ortom signs peace pact, promises commitment to peaceful poll
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Benue state governor and governorship candidate of PDP, Mr. Samuel Ortom, his SDP counterpart, Dr. Stephen Hwande, and governorship candidates of other political parties in Benue yesterday signed a peace pact with a pledge to ensure peaceful elections on February 16th and Match 2nd 2019.
In his address, Governor Ortom assured Benue people that he was committed to a peaceful and transparent election in 2019, expressing the hope that the pact would promote and sustain peace among candidates and the various political parties.
He stated that there was no need for any political office seeker to perpetuate violence to win election, noting that only God ordains leaders and when he chooses, there is nothing anybody can do.
The Governor however noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies have a bigger role to play in ensuring peaceful elections by being unbiased and professional in their conduct.
He charged the umpire body and security agencies to resist pressure from any quarters to compromise by ensuring that the rule of law and due process prevail during the election.
INEC Commissioner in the state, Dr. Yilwada Nantawe, said the peace accord became necessary owing to pockets of violence that characterized the 2015 general elections in the state.
He stated that INEC would interface with traditional rulers, youths, religious leaders and women with a view to ensuring a peaceful election in 2019.
Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, urged political actors to match the peace pact with action by ensuring issue based campaigns, warning that the land would be angry with those who sign peace agreement and go out to foment trouble thereafter.
State Commissioner of Police, Omolulu Bishi, pledged the commitment of the Police to remain professional in their conduct towards ensuring peace before, during and after the election.
He stated that the Police would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone found committing or aiding electoral violence.