…as candidates sign peace pact

From Gyang Bere, Jos

The President Gideon and Fummi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, Rev. Dr. Gideon Para-Mallam has organized a roundtable discussion with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and candidates of political parties in Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and Kaduna where a peace pact was signed for a free, fair and credible elections in 2023.

The roundtable discussion which was held on Tuesday in Jos in collaboration with Canada fund for Local Initiatives is aimed at prevention/mitigating election violence in Nigeria during the 2023 General Elections.

He encouraged Plateau citizens and political players to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during and after the elections.

Para-Mallam noted that it is imperative for influential members of the society who have been highly placed by God to unite and come up with one strong voice say, “No” to election violence.

 “This roundtable is not just a once-off but part of the process of addressing election violence and peace building in our society. Nigeria’s democracy needs to be sustained and to do that, proactive steps needs to be taken.” He stated.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Plateau State, Dr. Oliver Agundu expressed the commitment and readiness of the commission towards the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. 

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Dr  Agundu, said the commission will ensured prompt deployment of election materials in right quantity, right place and the right time during elections.

According to him, ” the commission had already conducted a mock accreditation using a Bimodal voters Accreditation system (BVAS) which is 100% okay.

“We have about 5,000 BVAS which will be configured in each of the 4,949 units across the state.

” The process is going to be fair, transparent and credible as the commission will create a level playing ground for all contestants.”

He warmed political parties and their candidates against compromising the election to avoid Osun state scenario, noting that article 51 of the electoral Act is very sacrosanct.

Participants at the roundtable discussion cut across the states of Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Benue respectively, which Para-Mallam said ” these states  have suffered from different forms of violence and often, violence in one state spills to neighboring States leading to  cross-border violence.

Meanwhile, the Labour party governorship candidate in Plateau Dr. Patrick Dakum alongside PRP candidate Luka Pampe, PDP candidate Barr. Caleb Mutfwang through his representative and other candidates within and outside Plateau signed peace accord, with assurance that they and their supporters will maintain peace before, during and after the elections.