By Patrick Odey
Nine governorship candidates of the various political parties in Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday signed a peace accord before the State Council of Elders.
This is as they pledged to ensure credible 2023 elections devoid of violence in the state.
Our correspondent reports that candidates of eight other political parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party, Umo Eno; his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, Obong Udofia; and the Young Progressives Party, Senator Albert Akpan, among others were absent at the signing ceremony
The signing of the peace accord, which took place at the Ibom E-library complex in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, was part of the interactive session organised by the Council of Elders for the candidates to unveil their manifestos.
Mr Eyo Ekor of the Allied People’s Movement, Senator Akpan Udoedeghe of the New Nigeria People’s Party, Mr Akan Ekpeyong of the Boot Party, Ime Koffi of the Accord Party, and his Zenith Labour Party’s counterpart were among the others.
In his remarks after the presentation of their manifestos, a former governor of the state, Obong Attah, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the peace meeting.
Attah said, “This is truly wonderful, and it is regrettable that people gave it either the wrong interpretation or high suspicion and therefore stayed away.
“Those who have come have seen the benefit of coming. And I want to believe that next time they will be better informed and that they will come, just as Akwa Ibom people are now better informed about their candidates.”
Speaking shortly before the signing of the accord, the Secretary, Akwa Ibom State Council of Elders, Moses Essien, said the council decided to “bring together all the political parties in the state to prevent any possible occurrence of electoral violence during the forthcoming election in the state.”
When contacted, the Director of Strategic Communications, PDP Campaign Organisation and Head of Media, Maintain Peace Movement, Mr Anietie Usen, said the absence of the governorship candidate of the party, could be due to a clash of programmes or that he was not adequately informed.
The Director, Media of the YPP Campaign Organisation, Mr Usoro Usoro, when contacted, said he was not in a good environment to respond to our inquiry.
Source: The Punch