The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, Mr Olatoye Durosinmi, has warned politicians in the state to shun politics of bitterness and use of thugs during the Saturday Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections.
Durosinmi, gave the warning during the signing of a Peace Accord by gubernatorial candidates at the police headquarters in Uyo on Tuesday.
He reminded the candidates that they were all brothers from the same state and should not do anything to jeopardise the existing peace in the state.
He further appealed to the candidates to talk to their supporters and followers to also embrace peace and not to forment trouble, stressing that the security agencies were ready to deal decisively with trouble makers.
The CP said that the police and other security agencies would ensure neutrality and work with all parties to ensure peace before, during and after elections.
“We are here to sign a peace accord. We are here to talk to each other and interact. We are to talk and see if there were lapses in the last election, that we can correct something we didn’t do well on the part of politicians.
“Anything we have not done well on the part of security agencies, we are all here to listen to you. All that we are aiming at, is a peaceful elections on March 18, 2023, and a better elections that we will be proud of.
“So, the gubernatorial election is the one that concerns all of us and everyone is ready but we want to send strong warning that in Akwa Ibom, we want to have zero tolerance to thuggery.
“We are aware that some people are going to wear oversized uniforms on that day. We are aware that some people will wear uniforms with big beard that they forgot to trim, so we know them.
“We are also aware that they will use newly painted police or military vehicles, we are aware of it and we have remedies to it.
“The advice is that those who are planning to forment trouble should repent and not do that. We are ready to deal with them decisively,” CP warned.
In his remarks, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, said that the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would continue to remain neutral as the umpire for the elections.
Omorogbe, who was represented by the INEC Administrative Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ogbodu assured the gubernatorial candidates that materials would arrived polling units on time.
He also urged the gubernatorial candidates and politicians to spread the good news of peace to their supporters and followers.
The resident electoral commissioner urged gubernatorial and state house of assembly candidates to be ready to accept result of the election, as only one candidate would win during the contest.
“We are here to seek for peace and ensure that there will be peace before, during and after the elections.
“So, the call is for the candidates and their supporters to embrace peace before, during and after the elections.
“We urge all participants that are here to spead this to their supporters that there should be peace no matter the outcome, favourable or unfavourable, because in every contest, the position contested for will be taken by only one person.
“Two people cannot be elected into one office. So, we should have this mind, cultivate this culture of accepting the result the way it comes.
“On our part, we have dedicated ourselves to do our best in this state as we have done before. So, we will continue to do better.
“We will ensure that this time around, we will be very earlier with our materials and personnel. So, that when we arrived early everything goes smoothly.
“We believe candidates and their supporters will accept the result in good faith and ensure that there is peace for everyone,” Omorogbe said.
Also reacting, all the gubernatorial candidates appealed to INEC to ensure early arrival of materials to all polling units, stressing that in the Feb. 25 elections materials arrived polling units very late.
They also called on the police and other security agencies in the state to be fair and remained impartial to all political parties and their candidates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that governorship candidates from about 18 political parties signed the peace accord. (NAN)