A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi, Chief Austine Edeze ,says politicians must commit themselves to peaceful and violence free electioneering process, ahead of the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi.
Edeeze gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abakaliki.
According to him, commitment to peaceful and violence free elections is the surest guarantee for credible, transparent and inclusive voter participation in the elections.
He condemned recent attacks on some APC members and disruption of the party’s Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) sensitisation rally in some local government areas of the state by suspected political thugs.
He warned against making 2019 elections a do-or-die, insisting that the electorate must be allowed to freely choose leaders in a peaceful and violence free poll.
He warned youths to resist being used as political thugs by desperate and self serving politicians.
“Members of the opposition APC have come under attacks in recent days with some inflicted with severe injuries by people suspected to be political thugs.
“Just recently, a chieftain of the party and one of its governorship aspirants, Dr Paul Okorie, was attacked while attending a political meeting at Ugwulangwu area of Ohaozara Local Government Area.
“Three of the party faithful, including the chairman of our party in Ohaozara narrowly escaped being lynched by the suspected thugs.
“Three houses belonging to members of the APC in Ikwo Local Government Area were burnt down by suspected thugs just a few days ago.
“Attempts to disrupt the CVR sensitisation rally of the party at Ohaukwu, Ishielu and Ezza North local government areas, were aborted by combined efforts of the Police and party members in these areas.
“Politicians and political parties must commit to peaceful, violence free and credible elections by calling their members and supporters to order, ” Edeeze said.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to invoke relevant sections of the Electoral Act to deal with politicians and political parties promoting political violence.
Edeze also urged the Police and other security agencies to step up efforts in combating increasing incidences of politically motivated violence in the state with a view to arresting the perpetrators and their sponsors.