Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 20 February 2015 | 3,274 times
Governorship candidates of the various political parties in Akwa Ibom State and their running mates on Wednesday in Uyo signed an “Accord of Understanding” with the Zone Six Police Command. The accord is meant to ensure that their party members, supporters and stakeholders “maintain and uphold absolute peace, violence-free and orderliness before, during and after the re-scheduled general elections” in the state.
In his speech at the accord-signing ceremony, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone Six, Calabar, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, observed: “There is no doubt that my posting to Zone Six Police Headquarters at this electioneering period is strategically meant to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.
“To this effect, I have a mandate from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Suleiman Abba to ensure that elections in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers and Ebonyi states, are peaceful and hitch-free.”
Ogunsakin warned that there shall be “no sacred cows” as the law is no respecter of anybody, “no matter how highly placed.” He declared that “political activities must be effectively managed in order not to endanger the peace in Akwa Ibom, one of the most peaceful states in the country.”
The AIG reminded the candidates and their supporters that Section 128 of the Electoral Act states: “Any person who at an election, acts or incites others to act in a disorderly manner, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500,000 or to imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both.”
He also reminded that of what Section 129 (4) states: “Any person who snatches or destroys any election material, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to 12 months imprisonment,” Ogunsakin pointed out.”
“It is to ensure compliance with the above stated electoral laws, that we are asking all the candidates to sign a Peace Accord. In the event of violation of any of these laws, we will not hesitate to visit any of the person(s) or party(s) concerned with the full wrath of the law,” Ogunsakin said.
On what he has done so far, the AIG said that on resumption of duty at Zone Six, “I set up a Special Investigation Team on electoral mattes to deal specifically with electoral offences,” adding: “I have directed all Commissioners of Police in the zone to, also constitute special squads on electoral offences and transfer offenders to my office in Calabar.”
He announced that he had directed the Akwa Ibom State Police Command to “embark on intensive stop and search of all vehicles, nooks and crannies of the state, in order to nib in the bud any unwholesome acts that can impede the peaceful conduct of the elections.”
Ogunsakin made it clear that he “shall not condone any act that will disrupt peace and order in any part of the states under my control, especially Akwa Ibom State.”
“We shall on our part, be objective, liberal, firm and non-partisan and perform our duties in the best possible professional manner as we owe no allegiance to any political party,” he assured.
In his remarks, the state police commissioner, Mr. Gabriel Achong, said that his command has been providing a level playing ground for all political parties to ensure riot free campaigns in all parts of the state.
He said that the police were always on ground and had provided adequate security at all party rallies and commended Governor Godswill Akpabio “for providing all necessary logistics, including adequate financial supports to the police” as the chief security officer of the state.
News Express reports that the governorship candidates that signed the peace accord included Bishop Samuel Akpan of Accord Party (AP) with his deputy, Mr. Sabbath Wilson Udomisoh; and Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the Director-General of Udom campaign organisation 2015, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, a onetime military governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Others were Mr. Umanah Okon Umanah of All Progressive Congress (APC), while Mrs. Helen Esuene of Labour Party (LP) and other parties sent representatives, all of whom pledged to abide by the terms of the agreement.
•Photo shows Zone Six AIG Ogunsakin.
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