From Solomon Musa Yola, with agency report
Hopes of Governor Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), getting a second term ticket are dimming by the day. Chieftains of his party, including top Muhammadu Buhari supporter and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal, are asking him to concede defeat and congratulate Peoples DemocraticParty’s candidate, Umar Fintiri.
Babachir, believed to be leading a group of unnamed Chieftains, in a statement in Yola on Saturday said, “the only honorable thing to do is for my party’s candidate, Governor Bindow, to concede and give peace a chance.
He adds, “The next election is only four years away, Bindow can go back to the drawing board and launch himself back; therefore, let’s not allow elections to cause trouble among brothers”.
Babachir pointed out that the results of the elections as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows that the PDP candidate, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, won the elections by 367,472 votes as against 334,995 votes by the APC candidate. Which is why Boni noted, “the margin of win by the PDP candidate is 32,476 votes”.
Babachir added,”While we were waiting for the outright declaration of Fintiri to have won by a clear majority, we were taken aback with INEC’s declaration of the elections as inconclusive, on the grounds that the mergin of win by PDP (32,476), was less than 40,988 in 44 polling units where the elections did not hold or were cancelled.”
“The electoral body relied on Section 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act and regulations and guidelines page17 paragraph C to justify its actions.
“We wish to state that the action by the electoral body to declare Adamawa election as inconclusive is not only absurd, but untenable, most unfortunate and unacceptable.
“We wish to state or note that the National Chairman had told the world that elections starts and ends at polling units. It is our understanding that if elections were cancelled at polling units or wards collation centers, it stands cancelled.
“We therefore find it curious for the electoral body to resurrect the issue of elections results that have been cancelled at the polling units to justify its action of declaring the governorship elections as inconclusive at the level of state Collation or declaration of results.
“The position of the electoral body ordering a supplementary election on the basis that the mergin of win was less than the number of cancelled results in the 44 polling units was untenable.
“This is because we have been able to establish that the number of PVC’s collected in the 44 polling units was 31,027, these are the only eligible voters if there is going to be a rerun.
“The 31,027 is far less than the number of registered voters that INEC relied upon to decline declaring PDP winner of the governorship elections.”
“I therefore urge Gov Bindow to phone Fintiri and congratulate him, so that this matter will be laid to rest, there is no magic that can give the governor victory”, he stated.
Meanwhile, despite a court order asking it to stand down the supplementary governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the election scheduled for March 23, would be conducted in 14 local government areas of Adamawa state.
Mr Kasim Gaidam, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Yola.
Gaidam said the election would be conducted in 29 Wards (Registration Areas) and 44 Polling Units where over 40,000 votes were earlier cancelled in the recent governorship selection.
“The Commission had prepared for the Supplementary Governorship election in the state. The election is going to be conducted in 14 LGAs, 29 Wards and 44 Polling Units spread across the state,” Gaidam said.
He listed the local areas to include: Yola South, Fufore, Ganye, Girei, Guyuk and Hong.
Other are: Lamurde, Numan, Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Shelleng, Song and Toungo local government areas.
Gaidam, however, explained that the election was declared inconclusive as provided for in law, based only on official registered voters, not Permanent Voter Cards collected or accredited voters.
He said: “Other figures being circulated should be disregarded as only report released by the Returning Officer should be considered.”
Recall that the results of the governorship election announced by the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Andrew Haruna show that the PDP candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri scored 367,472 votes, while a total of 334,995 votes were scored by incumbent governor, Muhammad Bindow, the APC candidate.