Governorship Candidates in the 2023 general election in Oyo State have committed to maintain a level playing field before, during, and after the general elections.
The pledge was made by the candidates while they were signing a peace pact in Ibadan that had been organized by Mr. Adebowale Williams, the police commissioner of Oyo State.
Senator Rashidi Ladoja, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland and the chief convener of the Peace Accord committee, spoke to the candidates on the value of peace and advised them to abstain from violence before, during, and after the upcoming elections.
Senator Ladoja cautioned them against a campaign of bitterness which he said could create rancour in the state.
He warned them to concentrate on issue-based campaigning for the benefit of all the people.
The need for free and fair elections and campaigns was emphasized by Senator Ladoja, who also advised the candidates to keep in mind that life will go on after the election.
According to Dr. Raman Tella, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State, the peace pact signed by the candidates suggested that the polls will be held peacefully.
The REC consequently urged Oyo State people who had not yet picked up their PVCs to do so because INEC still had 743,690 unclaimed cards on hand.
In order to lessen the strain people experience when trying to exercise their rights on election days, he continued, INEC in Oyo State had increased the number of polling places to 6,390.
The signing of the peace pact between the candidates would significantly contribute to securing and sustaining a peaceful environment before, during, and after elections, according to Engineer Seyi Makinde, one of the governorship candidates in Oyo State and the governor of Oyo State.
Reacting, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr Adebowale Williams said the signing of the peace accord became imperative as the nation navigated towards the general elections.
Mr Williams noted that there was the need for repeated emphasis on peaceful electioneering before, during and after the exercise to enable members of the public to exercise their franchise without fear or intimidation from anyone.
Our correspondent reports that Bayo Adelabu of Accord, Popoola Josiah of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) were physically present to sign the peace pact towards a violence-free 2023 elections.
However, candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Sen. Teslim Folarin was absent at the peace Pact but his deputy governorship candidate, Okunlola Oluwafemi, was present to sign the peace accord.