By Uche Amunike
The Adamawa State Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Fintiri, has continued to lead in the supplementary election held in the state, Saturday, ahead of his major rival, Aishatu Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also known as ‘Binani’, who was declared winner as the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Hudu Yunusa illegally announced the Adamawa governorship election results even before the election process was concluded.
From the results collated from 11 local government areas, Fintiri was ahead of Binani by 1000 votes. There was however, great tension when INEC officials stopped journalists who had been accredited during the presidential and gubernatorial election from having access to the collation centre for the supplementary election in the state. Stern looking police officers who claimed that they were given strict orders from above, refused media men from accessing the collation centres.
This brought about protests by the campaign team of the PDP as they vowed to fight any attempt made to tamper with the Adamawa governorship election results.
The results announced on March 11, showed that Governor Fintiri polled 421,524 votes, while Binani polled 390,275 votes, making Fintiri win her with over 30,000 votes margin. He also won in 13 local government areas out of the 21 local government areas in the state, while Binani won in the remaining 8 local government areas.
The Adamawa State Collation Officer, Professor Mohammed Mele, however announced that the elections held in 69 polling units in Furore LGA, which affected not less than 37,016 potential voters with PVCs in those units, had been canceled. He further stated that even though the final results indicated that Fintiri polled the highest votes, INEC said that the cancelled votes exceeded the margin of victory between him and Binani. As a result, he declared the Adamawa State governorship election in Adamawa State, inconclusive.
The fate of Fintiri and Binani were expected to be determined by the 37,016 potential voters, on Saturday. However, in the supplementary poll held, Saturday, results collated by INEC showed that Fintiri polled 5,285 votes from 11 local government areas, while Binani polled 3,692 votes. This led to the collation being suspended till the next day.
On their part, the PDP has asked the electoral umpire to resume the collation of the Adamawa governorship election results and announce Fintiri as winner. Speaking, at a press conference held by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja, he stated that the uploaded results at the INEC viewing portal showed that Fintiri won the election.
His words: ‘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, Fintiri as the winner, having scored the majority of lawful votes cast.’
‘From the results already collated across the 69 Polling Units where the supplementary elections were held and which are on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, 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 Fintiri as the winner. Anything short of this will not be accepted by our party and the people of Adamawa State.’
He described the action of the State REC as illegal and demanded for his immediate removal, calling on the Inspector General of Police to arrest him and make him face the with of the law.