In what some may call a drama-filled supplementary election in Adamawa State, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri has been declared the victor exactly one month after the March 18 governorship elections.
In the rerun election held last Saturday, Senator Aishatu ‘Binani’ Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) received 6,513 votes, falling short of PDP candidate Fintiri’s 9,337 vote total.
At the end of the entire exercise, Fintiri polled 430,861 votes, defeating Binani who got 398,738 votes.
A number of political scheming occurred before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made its statement at 5:49 pm on Tuesday.
The INEC declared the governorship election held last month to be inconclusive, thus a run-off vote was planned for last Saturday.
Contrary to the Electoral Act’s rules, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa Ari, prematurely pronounced Binani the victor on Sunday as collation was taking place.
When a state’s governor is up for election, only the returning officer has the authority under Section 25 of the Electoral Act of 2022 to proclaim the winner and announce the results at the state collation center.
Interestingly, only 10 of the 20 local government areas (LGAs) in the supplemental poll had results announced, but those results showed Fintiri ahead with seven victories to Binani’s three.
The declaration by Ari was quickly followed by an acceptance speech by the APC candidate.
In response, irate opposition members took their anger out on an INEC national commissioner, whom they mistook for the REC, assaulting him.
“A former Vice Chancellor of Usman Dan Fodio University, a senior citizen was stripped naked and dragged. This commission will not allow that to stand,” INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Festus Okoye said in a strongly worded statement.
He also urged the security agencies to unmask those behind the that particular act.
“They must be arrested, they must be investigated and they must be prosecuted. A national commissioner cannot be treated as if he or she is a common criminal,” he said.