• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Adamawa guber: Crisis rocks state over Binani’s declaration as governor-elect

Binani: A normal participant in Nigeria’s normal fraudulent politics

Adamawa State was on Sunday thrown into confusion following declaration by the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner, Yunusa Ari the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Binani winner of the gubernatorial election, ahead of the final collation of the governorship rerun.

Ahead of the Saturday’s rerun, Ahmadu Fintri, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate and incumbent governor, was ahead with over 30,000 votes, when INEC announced that there will be a rerun in 69 polling units across the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in a swift reaction, voided the declaration of Aisha Dahiru-Binani, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as winner of the Adamawa State governorship re-run election.

Fesus Okoye, INEC, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee in statement said the collation which ongoing has been suspended and directed to REC and other officials involved in action to proceed to the National Headquarters.

The Commission while frowning at what it described as “usurpation of the power of the Returning Officer”, therefore declared Yunusa’s action as “null, void and of no effect.”

“The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been drawn to the purported declaration of winner in the Adamawa State Governorship election by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari.

“The action of the REC is a usurpation of the power of the Returning Officer and therefore null, void and of no effect. Consequently, the collation of the result of the supplementary election held yesterday 15th April 2023 is suspended forthwith.

The presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, while reacting to the development, called the attention of Nigerians to what described as the” game plan of up-turning the democratic wishes of the people of Adamawa State in the governorship election in the state.

Atiku, speaking through his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said that the initial decision of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State to declare the APC candidate, Sen. Aisha Binani, as the winner of the election, is a case study to the shambolic nature of the 2023 elections in general.

“Here in Adamawa, we are witnesses to a novel practice in election management where a Resident Electoral Commissioner announced the loser of an election as a winner.

“It is not in doubt that INEC has approached the Adamawa State election with a preset agenda of declaring the APC at all cost.

“It is, therefore, on this note that we wish to call the attention of the world to the scheme being perpetrated by INEC to compromise the electoral wishes of the people of Adamawa State.

“We also wish to inform the world that such behaviour by INEC has a natural consequence of unsettling the peace and security of the society.

“We have seen how INEC conducted the February 25 and March 18 elections against the run of play and challenging cheated candidates to go to the court, knowing full well the agenda that they are up to.

“It must be put on record that the people of Adamawa State will not allow themselves to cheated three times in a row. It must also be put on record that whatever the consequences of the scheme being scripted, both the INEC and those vested with state powers should be blamed for the consequences of such actions.

“That the APC candidate has a prepared acceptance speech is a pointer to the guarantee of a false victory which the INEC must have promised her.

“Recall that this was the same Resident Electoral Commissioner who pressured the Returning Officer to manipulate the results of the contentious Fufore Local Government Area in the March 18 governorship election.

“The people of Adamawa shall not allow this injustice to pass without being challenged.

“We demand the immediate resumption of the collation of results and its finalisation today.

“It is also our demand that the Adamawa REC and any other parties complicit in this treasonable act should be arrested immediately and prosecuted to the full extent of the law to serve as a deterrent to anti-democratic forces who may want to torpedo our democracy and provoke violence in our country”.

But Debo Ologunabga, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, while briefing Journalists in Abuja on Sunday, called on security agencies to immediately arrest the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Yunusa Ari

According to him” PDP also demands for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Yunusa Ari, for making such illegal declaration in criminal usurpation of the duties and powers of the Returning Officer, Prof Mohammed Mele, while collation was on-going.

BusinessDay recalls that the PDP had on three earlier occasions, especially on March 23, 27 and April 4, 2023, called on the INEC to redeploy Yunusa Ari, from Adamawa state, as its Residence Electoral Commissioner, over alleged complicity in plans to rig the Adamawa gubernatorial election

The party noted that the Adamawa State REC “did not only usurp the powers of the Returning Officer but attempted to declare a winner without figures in reckless violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2022, INEC Guidelines as well as the sensibility of the people of Adamawa State.”

Read also: Adamawa rerun: INEC suspends result collation over REC’s action

According to the PDP” This reprehensible criminal conduct of the Adamawa State REC confirms the earlier alarms by the PDP which demanded for his immediate removal from Adamawa State following evidence of his complicity and being compromised by the APC and its candidate to manipulate the election in their favour notwithstanding the votes by the people of Adamawa State.

The party described Yunusa Ari’s action as “subversive and calculated to cause crisis in Adamawa State, destabilize our democracy and peaceful co-existence as a nation. We call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately arrest Mallam Yunusa Ari and make him face the full wrath of the law for his conduct.”

The PDP therefore, demands that INEC Headquarters should immediately direct the Returning Officer to conclude collation, announce the results from the Polling Units and declare our candidate, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as winner, having scored the majority of lawful votes cast.

“From the results already collated across the 69 Polling Units where the supplementary elections held and which are on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, Governor Fintiri clearly won the election.

“Our Party therefore, demands that INEC should WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY announce the results as already collated from the Polling Units and declare Governor Fintiri as winner. Anything short of this will not be accepted by our Party and the people of Adamawa State.”