Governorship candidates of the 18 political parties participating in the governorship election in Anambra State are to sign a peace accord on 4 November.
This was disclosed by the spokesperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Festus Okoye, in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Okoye issued the statement after a meeting of the Commission in Abuja to review the preparations for the polls.
There has been an upsurge in violence in Anambra State leading to killings by unknown gunmen. The series of violence have created tension in the state.
Some of the major candidates in the 6 November governorship election are a former CBN governor, Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a former senator, Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a serving senator, Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).
Mr Okoye said the Commission was in touch with the National Peace Committee chaired by a former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, which will facilitate the signing of the peace pact.
“The Commission is in touch with the National Peace Committee under the Chairmanship of former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd) GCFR. Preparations are underway for the signing of the Peace Accord in Awka on Thursday 4th November 2021,” he said.
He said the Commission was satisfied with the current level of preparations for the poll.
“The Commission is satisfied with the current level of preparations. Virtually all non-sensitive materials have been delivered in readiness for the election. The training of ad-hoc staff is also going on as scheduled,” he said
Mr Okoye said so far, the Commission had successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities in the timetable and schedule of activities and had published the Notice of Poll at its state and all the local government offices in Anambra State.
According to him, by Section 46 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Commission shall, not later than 14 days before the day of the election, cause to be published, a notice specifying the date and hours fixed for the poll; the persons entitled to vote; and the location of the polling units.
He said 20 October was the last day for the submission of names of polling agents by political parties, adding that by section 45 of the Electoral Act, each political party may by notice in writing addressed to the Electoral Officer of the Local Government, appoint a polling agent for each polling unit and collation centre.
The notice, he said, shall set out the name and address of the polling agent, accompanied by two passport photographs of each polling agent, and sample signature of the agent at least 14 days before the date fixed for the election.
Mr Okoye advised political parties to adhere strictly to the law and the guidelines for the deployment of polling agents, warning that only duly accredited polling agents would be allowed to operate at the polling units and collation centres.
He said INEC had also noted with appreciation, the role of religious, traditional and community leaders in Anambra State as well as civil society, socio-cultural associations and the media in appealing for peace during campaign and Election Day activities.
“With just a little over two weeks to the election, the Commission once again appeals for support from all and sundry in Anambra to ensure that the election will not only be peaceful but also free, fair and credible,” Mr Okoye said.