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2023 Polls: Delta Political Parties, Candidates Sign Peace Accord

Political parties and their candidates in Delta state on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 signed a peace accord to be of good behaviour in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

The peace accord was organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in collaboration with Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ and other non-governmental organizations in the state.

Part of the reasons for the peace accord is to forestall violence during and after the elections. The belief is that violence is one of the factors that have militated against credible elections in Nigeria.

Hence, to nip this in the bud and run a violence-free-election, the Independent National Electoral Commission assembled the political parties and their candidates to make a commitment to play by the rules.

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In addition to what the peace accord is expected to usher in, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Delta state, Revd. Monday Udoh Tom, believes that the BVAS will also give a boost to the credibility of the 2023 elections.

Other peace oriented organizations such as CEPEJ admonished political parties to shun vote buying and advice their followers to play by the rules of the game.

In an interview after the signing of the peace accord, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, the executive director of CEPEJ, told journalists that the political parties are ready for the peace accord. He said they are ready to support INEC to actualise a peaceful election devoid of violence.

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He said: “From the interactions and discussions, we can see that they are committed to the peace process. Since the campaigns began, you can see some level of peace in Delta state.

“The peace accord is like a constitution, so they must abide by it. It is a binding document on them.”

Comrade Sheriff Mulade said as a peace advocate with his organization championing peace in the Niger Delta, he deemed it fit to collaborate with INEC to actualise peace during the elections.

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He said the peace accord is not peculiar to only Delta state but it is signed across the nation.

According to Mulade: “The essence of this exercise is to have that unity and understanding to build on the existing peace in the state.

“As the general elections draw near, there is need to work with relevant parties and candidates to ensure there is peace as the parties go about campaigning. They should work towards a peaceful society.

“Without peace there cannot be election and the politicians cannot run a chaotic society. We need that understanding with the electoral body and the candidates, that’s why we are doing this.”

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