Ondo Election: Akeredolu, Jegede, Ajayi, Other Candidates Sign Peace Pact

 

Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rotimi Akeredolu; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede; the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) Agboola Ajayi, and others, have signed a peace pact ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election slated for Saturday.

They signed the pact on Tuesday in the state capital, Akure, pledging to shun violence during the election and avoid actions that may undermine the peace accord.

The event, facilitated by the National Peace Committee (NPC), had the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu; and the Inspector-General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who was represented by the DIG Of Police, Research and Planning, Oyebade Adeleye, in attendance.

Others in attendance included the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo and traditional rulers from the state.

 

 

With the election drawing close, there have been claims and counterclaims about attacks from the two leading contestants, the candidates of the APC and the PDP.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the convoy of the PDP candidate, Jegede has been attacked severally – a situation which he credited to ‘hoodlums’ who according to him, escort the governor.

Read Also: When You Have A Bright Chance, That’s When They Conspire – Jegede

“Why should hoodlums be following a governor?,” Jegede asked, in an interview on Channels TV last Wednesday, as he reiterated that it can only be because they are threatened by him.

The APC, on the other hand, has accused the PDP of attacking its party properties in Owo the hometown of incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Read Also: Guber Poll: Like Edo, I Expect Ondo People To Vote For Continuity, Says Akeredolu

They also accused some supporters of the opposition party of shooting at passers-by and damaging their vehicles, shops and other building in an attack.

While both parties have denied responsibility of the attacks, they have now signed the pact, agreeing to a violence-free exercise.

Jegede had contested in 2016 under the PDP and is hoping to secure a victory this time.

Also looking to secure a second term, Akeredolu on Tuesday, however, gave an assurance that the election will be peaceful, even as he urged INEC to ensure that the exercise is free, fair and credible.

Anyaoku Tasks Candidates On Peace Pact

anyaokuThe Chairman of the Abuja Accord of January 14, 2015, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has urged presidential candidates for the elections on Saturday to make conscious efforts to observe the agreement of the accord.

In a statement made available to journalists, Chief Anyaoku observed that despite the agreement, election campaigns have been characterized by hate speeches and violence in some areas.

While he commended security agencies for helping to keep the incidents minimal, Chief Anyaoku stated that the real test of the accord would be during the elections and the days after.

Mr Anyaoku, in the statement, pleaded with political leaders to be more actively engaged in advocating non-violence to their supporters.

He also encouraged everyone to work towards maintaining a positive image for the country as all eyes of the international community are on Nigeria to conduct free, fair and peaceful elections.

Ukraine Military Warns Of Danger Ahead Of Ceasefire

militaryThe Ukrainian military on Saturday said that there was a great danger in pro-Russian rebel offensive in east Ukraine ahead of a planned ceasefire, after a heavy fighting was recorded.

An agreement is due to come into effect from Sunday under a peace accord that also envisages a withdrawal of the heavy weapons responsible for casualties, in the conflict that broke out almost a year ago.

A military spokesman, Anatoly Stelmakh, said in a television interview, that “there has been no lull, moreover rebels continue attacks on Debaltseve,” a strategic transport hub northeast of Donetsk city, that has been the focus of some of the fiercest fighting in recent weeks.

The Ukrainian military separately said the situation remained tense in parts of the contested Luhansk region.

The Ukraine President, Petro Poroshenko, also accused Russia of “significantly increasing” its offensive despite the peace agreement reached in Minsk on Thursday.

Shelling was heard in the rebel-held city of Donetsk early on Saturday.

Reports say as the time gets closer for the ceasefire, fears are rising that it won’t be observed.

More than a dozen civilians are said to have died in shelling in eastern Ukraine on Friday.

It is unclear who was behind the shelling but both the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions accuse each other of the attack.

Speaking earlier, President Poroshenko said despite what had been agreed in Minsk, “Russia’s offensive operations have intensified”.

“We are still convinced that the Minsk achievements are in a big danger,” he added.

“Ahead of midnight, rebels are trying to complete tactically important plans to enlarge the territory under their control, primarily in the direction of Debaltseve,” spokesman Andriy Lysenko said