By Jethro Ibileke
Governor Godwin Obaseki has said that he will lead by example by embracing peace before, during and after the September 19 governorship election in the state.
He stated this on Tuesday in Benin, the state capital, during the signing of peace accord by contestants in Edo governorship election scheduled for next Saturday organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC).
Other governorship candidates who signed the accord included Obaseki’s main rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, and others, who pledged to embrace peace, irrespective of the election outcome.
The event took place at the Oba Akenzua Cultural center in Benin City.
Addressing contestants, the chairman of NPC, Abdulsalam Abubakar, urged all stakeholders to commit to the spirit of the accord.
“As we go into the election, we have been given assurance by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that they will conduct free, fair and credible election. The rest is left for the voters to do what is right.
“We therefore call on everyone to work towards peaceful election to ensure peace reign during and after the election,” he said.
In his remarks, the PDP candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, appealed to the Peace Committee to extend the accord to other actors who have influence in the political space to ensure that the exercise is complete.
Obaseki who restated his commitment to ensuring peaceful poll, added that he would lead by example.
“I am grateful to the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Police and the Oba of Benin.
“Today, we agree that a unique type of history has been made in Edo state, where all contestants sign the peace accord for a violence-free election. As the Chief Security Officer, I have no choice than to ensure peace reign,” he said.
On his part, the candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-lyamu, promised to talk his supporters to shun violence in a bid to achieve peaceful poll.
“We are grateful to the peace committee, INEC and the police. We are also grateful to the Oba of Benin, because what we are witnessing today was actually initiated few weeks ago,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his assistance in ensuring peaceful poll in the state.
The monarch, who was presented by the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri, appealed to Edo sons to shun violence, adding that when two people contest, only one will eventually emerge as the winner.