The city of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital recorded violent clashes involving rival political parties for the better part of last week. The electoral umpire, INEC has therefore taken steps towards ensuring peaceful and crisis-free elections in the state. Leaders of 25 political parties stormed the state INEC office last week and agreed to maintain peace before, during and after the general elections by signing a peace accord facilitated by the state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while the representatives of all the security agencies were also present. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Attahiru Garba particularly expressed worries that the state known for being peaceful has recorded violent clashes. ‘I am very worried that Kwara State that is known for peace and regarded as the state of Harmony has turned to a state of violence. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is in existence because of the political parties.
There is no INEC without the political parties and I urge all the political parties to talk to their supporters and ask them to follow the rules and regulations of the game. It is God that gives power and power is for service delivery to the people. We should desist from campaign of calumny and engage in issues-based campaign’, he said. In his remarks, the state commissioner of police, Mr. Bashir Makama called on the political parties to ensure they give at least 48 hours notification to the security agencies before embarking on any political campaign in order for them to be given adequate security for protection of lives and property.
He added that men of the state command have started arresting the political thugs involved in the recent violence in the state and that they will parade them at the appropriate time. He warned the political leaders to desist from buying hard drugs for the political thugs which he said do encourage them to go violent. The Inter-party advisory Council (IPAC) on behalf of all the political parties in the state later promised to adhere by the rules and regulations of campaign and ensure free and fair elections in the state.
The state publicity secretary of the Balogun Fulani- led Kwara State APC however, said on Thursday that the absence of its chairman at the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) office for the signing of the peace accord with other political parties was for good reasons. The Bashir Bolarinwa- led Kwara APC was asked to sign the peace pact they asserted because its members are the set of people allegedly causing mayhem in the state. ‘The Balogun Fulani-led All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwara State wishes to set the record straight as regards the so-called peace accord signed today, 17th of January, 2019 by political parties in the state.That Balogun-Fulani was not at INEC office, Ilorin as claimed by the Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa’ s faction. That the Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa’s faction was specifically allowed to sign the peace pact because it’s the one causing mayhem. That should INEC refuse to recognize the Balogun Fulani-led APC, it will be tantamount to disobedience of court judgment and may attract contempt of court, there is no cause for alarm’ he stated.