With the Edo State governorship election less than a week from now, the fear of violence and tension can now be doused following the signing of a peace pact by political parties and their candidates.
The signing organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC) took place on Tuesday in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
During the programme, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki embraced his main rival and contender in the poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The duo beaming with smiles warmly hugged each other, an indication that they have decided to toe the line of peace and avoid unnecessary bloodshed in the election.
Spirit Of The Pact
On his part, Obaseki promised that he, as a PDP candidate, will live by the letters and spirit of the peace pact.
He, however, asked the NPC to reach out to some political actors whom he said wield much influence and are interested in the election.
The governor explained that the move is necessary in order not to let the exercise to end in futility, adding that, “I want to commit publicly once again that I will live by the letter and spirit of the accord that has just been signed.
“Before leaving the stage, I want to appeal to the National Peace Committee not to end their work with the signing of this accord.
“There are other actors in the political space who will have and exercise influence in the political space and also elections to reach out to them to persuade them about the importance of this accord we have just signed,” he said.
Talk To Our Supporters
In furtherance of the peaceful conduct of the election, Pastor Ize-Iyamu promised that the APC will conduct itself peacefully.
The APC candidate pledged that the party will talk to its supporters to eschew violence before, during and after the polls.
He also commended the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare for his efforts in ensuring that the exercise holds in a manner free from bloodshed.
“Let me reaffirm to our commitment to what has been signed and to reassure Nigerians that and particularly our people in Edo State that we will talk to all our supporters.
“We will conduct ourselves peacefully. We will do all our best to ensure that the election is peaceful,” he said.