With less than two months to the beginning of campaigns, former Secretary to Ebonyi State Government (SSG), Prof. Benard Odoh, has said the key to peaceful and issues-driven campaigning lies in the hands of candidates and political parties.
Odoh, who is also the governorship standard bearer of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), said he decided to embark on consultative meetings with leaders, stakeholders and candidates of other parties to tone down combative posturing before the general elections.
The APGA guber hopeful stressed that he was advocating a peaceful and friendly relationship among candidates and supporters of political parties in the state to ensure that “elections are not seen as war.”
Odoh spoke to journalists after visiting the Speaker of Ebonyi House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, who is also a governorship contender on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APGA governorship flag bearer said that what he has embarked upon is not a one-off thing, explaining that he intends to visit other leaders, including his former boss, Governor David Umahi.
Odoh disclosed that he had earlier consulted with other stakeholders and candidates across party lines such as Deputy Governor, Chief Eric Igwe, a former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim and former Minister of State for Health, Chief Fidelis Nwankwo.
While urging other candidates to explore similar consultative visits among themselves, the APGA governorship contender expressed hope that such gestures would go a long way to encourage their supporters to eschew violent confrontations and tow the path of peace.
Odoh said: “Elections are only a significant and critical component of our entire democratic process. It ensures successful regime transition and not a time to pick a fight or quarrel with anybody.
“So, in continuation of our consultative visits, which has been on for two weeks now, I have just visited and spent quality time with the number three citizen of the state, the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Nwifuru.”