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Mark, others urge respect for violence-free election pact

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja   |   25 January 2015   |   8:58 pm  

DAVID-MARK

SENATE President, David Mark, and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, have cautioned political parties against violation of the peace pact signed recently in Abuja by the presidential candidates.

  Mark, who spoke at the kick off of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) PDP Presidential and National Assembly campaign in Bwari Area Council at the weekend, said the conduct of the supporters of some opposition parties should be condemned by every right thinking  member of the society.

   Both Mark and Ekweremadu also condemned the consistent attack on President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP campaign train. The campaign train was reportedly attacked in Katsina, Kano and Bauchi states by thugs believed to be supporters of the opposition political parties.

 Mark described the attacks on the PDP as an affront on democracy and a betrayal of the peace pact entered into by the political parties and their candidates.

  Also condemning the attacks on Mr. President were some civil society organizations in the country under the aegis of Nigeria Prosperity Project (NPP). The National Coordinator, Mr. Louis Ebodaghe, urged political parties and their candidates to respect the peace pact on non- violence in order not to throw the country into chaos.

  According to Ebodaghe, the unfolding scenario ahead of general elections in which party supporters engaged in violent activities is ungodly and does no one any good.

  He said: “We condemn this unwarranted violent attacks on the PDP and its candidates. They have campaigned in other parts of the country without molestation. We should be allowed to campaign freely. The opposition must stop this desperation and allow Nigerians to decide.

  “This election must not be a do-or- die affair. The campaign is an avenue to tell the electorate what you have done and what you intend to do for them. It should not be turned to a battle field,” he said.

  In his admonition, Ekweremadu charged well-meaning Nigerians to rise up in defense of national interest and in condemnation of acts of electoral violence irrespective of political, ethnic and religious leanings.

   He said: “ We are worried about the attacks on some political actors by people in parts of the country other than their own. Let us stand together and call the political elites to order. We must admit that elections will come and go, but that this country will remain. Therefore, we must play politics with every sense of responsibility, ensuring that everybody is accorded his due respect.

   “We must also bear in mind that events and utterances that incubate electoral violence start well ahead of elections. We must live with a sense of history and remember that the same tree stump does not trip a wise man twice,” he said.



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