The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Jeremiah Useni, and 12 others from different political parties have signed a peace accord pledging to avoid all acts of violence that may lead to the destruction of lives and property.
The peace accord endorsement, which took place at the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre in Kwang, Jos South Local Government Area, was witnessed by the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Jacob Gyang Buba, representatives of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as well as security chiefs, the media and other stakeholders.
All 14 candidates pledged to support relevant agencies such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies by being faithful to the laws guiding the elections. They also pledged to conduct their campaigns in a peaceful and respectful manner devoid of religious and tribal incitements and profiling.
Governor Lalong, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), described as unfortunate the resort to the use of hate speech by some politicians, thereby generating crisis. He urged all parties and candidates to work in the interest of the state.
He expressed optimism that they would all return to the same venue and rejoice after the general elections irrespective of the winner.
Earlier, Senator Useni of the PDP had promised to work with everyone to ensure peace in the state, adding that “we are here to sign any agreement that will ensure peace on the Plateau and we would abide by it.”
On his part, the Catholic Archbishop of Jos said there was need for all to come together to proactively discuss how to work in a concerted way to prevent all forms of election-related violence.
Kaigama called for assurances from each of the candidates that they would run only issue-based campaigns, free of hate speeches, insults, intimidation, blackmail and inciting comments.