Abia council poll: Political parties sign peace accord.... As ABSIEC boss raises alarm over threat to his life

Political parties partici­pating in the Decem­ber 21 Local Govern­ment!election in Abia State, Tuesday signed a peace ac­cord, pledging to eschew violence and maintain law and order before, during and after the poll.
The accord which was signed at Aguiyi Ironsi Con­ference Centre Umuahia, with 10 political parties in attendance was mid-wifed and supervised by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade.
This is as the Chairman of the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (AB­SIEC) Justice Igbozurike Akomas ( rtd), has raised alarm that his life is under threat.

Akomas who disclosed this while speaking at the fo­rum said he had been receiv­ing threats but averred that his life is firmly secure under God’s protective arm.

Although he failed to re­veal the source of the threats, the ABSIEC boss warned those after his life to retrace their steps “because threat does not help anybody”.

His words: “My hands are clean so your threats will come to naught. I have been open to everybody; I have accommodated everybody; I have even gone out of my way to do certain things that people say my predecessor wouldn’t have done just be­cause we are all brothers”.
He advised political par­ties who still have issues to resolve their differences in­ternally, assuring a level play ground for all parties in the contest.

The ABSIEC boss who also said the electoral body had received two court suits (one from Abuja High Court and the other from an Abia High Court) regretted that some persons were bent on frustrating the proposed poll.
Cautioning against the far -reaching consequences of scuttling the council poll which was last held 2008 in the state, Akomas said “if for any reason anybody stops this election, it is Abians that will suffer “.

Akomas who said ABSIEC had been through with the screening of candidates for the election added that the list of successful candidates would be pasted in all 17 council headquarters in the state by Wednesday.
The ABSIEC boss who also said the commission was fully prepared for the poll added that political par­ties had up to Thursday to substitute their candidates where necessary.

He further disclosed that only 10 political parties sub­mitted their logos for inclu­sion in the ballot papers on time, explaining that the commission’s unwillingness to accommodate late comers was because of the huge cost implications of reprinting the ballot papers.

He assured all the parties of free, fair and credible poll while soliciting the coopera­tion of the parties for a suc­cessful exercise.
“Jettison the preconceived idea that results are going to be written”, he said, while however advising every par­ticipating political party to ensure it has a responsible agent at every polling unit.

Speaking at the event, Commissioner of Police, Oyebade promised that po­lice in synergy with other security agencies would pro­vide adequate security for the exercise.

He warned all participants and their supporters to abide by the law and letters of the peace accord as anybody caught fomenting trouble will be ruthlessly dealt with.
“Everybody should follow the rule of law and not to en­gage in violence,” he warned, while assuring that “ there will be no illegal policeman at the polling units”.

In his remarks, Chairman of the state’s chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Coun­cil ( IPAC), Prince Emeka Okafor, accused ABSIEC of not carrying the political parties along but promised to work for the success of the poll in the interest of the state.

Participating journalists at the forum also accused AB­SIEC of leaving the media in the dark concerning its arrangements for the elec­tion, protesting that as criti­cal stakeholders, the media deserve to be carried along.

~Authority Newspaper