The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) has urged political actors to remember their commitment to the Peace Accord signed ahead of today’s governorship election in Edo.
Ms. Esther Uzoma, Alternate Chair, Situation Room, made the call on behalf of the group in a preliminary statement issued in Abuja on Friday.
According to Uzoma, the 14 candidates signed the accord to guarantee a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the elections.
“This election will take place against a very tense political environment characterised by hate speech and rhetoric.
”Already, reports have been received of pre-election violence in some parts of the state, prominently in Akoko-Edo local government.
”Situation Room is concerned that the conduct of the political actors in the lead up to this election has raised fears of their readiness to eschew violence.
“Situation Room wishes to remind the political actors of their commitment to the Peace Accord signed by the 14 candidates to guarantee a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the elections.
“There is a moral and legal obligation to abide by this agreement and there will be consequences in this regard,” she said.
Uzoma said the CSOs called on the parties to ensure their agents abide by “INEC COVID-19 guidelines as they participate in the electoral process”.
She further disclosed that the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room deployed 300 observers for the election and would be on ground to receive reports from its partners and networks distributed across the 18 local government areas of the state.
She said that they received assurance from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police that they were fully prepared for the elections.
“Situation Room expects an improved administration and management of the 2020 Edo governorship election and will be holding INEC accountable to its promise,” she said.
Uzoma said that the group commended the Inter-Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on the development of a “Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Election Duty.
“In view of this document, Situation Room calls on all deployed security agencies and their personnel to abide by these guidelines and remain neutral in their conduct.
She also said that the group urged all eligible voters to come out freely to exercise their civic responsibility in accordance with COVID-19 protocol.