In a volte-face that appears to show she may have backed down in her gubernatorial ambition, the strong woman of Adamawa politics, Senator Aisha Dahiru, popularly called Binani, says her pursuit of the governorship seat is “not a do or die” affair.
She has also denied she gave a N2billion bribe to anyone, even as speculations were rife that a prominent female personality in nation’s seat of power in Abuja was as determined to ensure her defeat, ” because she sabotaged her siblings effort to be Adamawa State governor.
Incumbent governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, was returned as winner of the controversial polls of last Saturday after a combustive drama that saw Binani illegally declared as winner by Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yunusa Ari, on Sunday while security chiefs looked on and supporters of PDP’s Fintiri protested vehemently. Violent protests also erupted in the state, and to an attack on an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner and a senior Department of State Services (DSS) official by persons believed to be working for the state government.
In a statement on Monday, Binani said: “”My attention has been drawn to a very bizarre, unfounded wild allegations purportedly made by an officer of the Department of State Services (DSS) to the effect that, I Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed ( Binani) gave out the Sum of N2billion to procure a favourable declaration as Governor-Elect to some unnamed INEC staff. I NEVER DID, I would never do such.
“This said statement was allegedly made when the officer was being tortured at gunpoint by the agents of the Adamawa State Governor and the Government House police team alongside their political thugs.
“I wish to reiterate that I am a democrat, I have always been a committed democrat and will never do anything to subvert democratic process. I am not do-or-die politician. In the past I have won elections into the House of Representatives and the Senate in a free and fair manner.
What happened in Adamawa was an unsuccessful attempt to subvert the will of the people. The REC was illegally told to stand down by two INEC national commissioners from Abuja who were supposed to be in Adamawa in a supervisory capacity. Even more curious is the nocturnal visit of some INEC national officers to Adamawa State Government house and bizarre declaration same day after the visit that they have taken over the collation through the backdoor, with the Collation and Returning Officers selected by the Governor of Adamawa.
“The roles of these INEC officers from Abuja and the real mission of the two to the Government House should be of interest to all democrats.
“I urge all lovers of democracy to take a deeper interest in our electoral process and democracy not only in Adamawa but in the whole country.
“Meanwhile to all my supporters both within and outside Adamawa, I wish to use this opportunity to thank you for your unflinching support, in the midst of half-truths and opposition smear propaganda.”
Recall that Governor Fintiri was declared winner of the Adamawa State gubernatorial election, ending the72 hours “Usurpation Drama” that played out in the state and Abuja.
Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 9,337 votes while Senator Aishatu Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 6,513 votes.
In all, the governor polled 430,861 votes to beat the female senator who polled 398,788 votes, according to the Adamawa State Governorship Election Returning Officer, Umaru Mele, whose function was illegally usurped by Adamawa State REC
An attempt by Binani to stop the declaration the true result failed before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.
Fintiri’s declaration as winner also came with its collateral damage: the police commissioner in the state was moved out on account of an alleged complicity in the drama that unfolded there last Sunday.
The Police chief, the head of the state security, and the boss of the Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps sat through a charade in which the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa Ari, announced Senator Aisha Binani Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner midway into collation of results, a function that is the preserve of the Returning Officer.
No word has been heard on the fate of other federal government officials who were complicit in bizarre political drama.
Ari has been barred from the INEC office in Adamawa, while INEC says it will write the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute him.
After a meeting of its National Commissioners in Abuja on Tuesday, the electoral umpire said, “At its meeting today, 18th April 2023, the Commission discussed matters arising from the Adamawa Governorship election and decided to:
“Write to the Inspector-General of Police for the immediate investigation and possible prosecution of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Adamawa State, Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari.
“Request the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to draw the attention of the appointing authority to the unwholesome behaviour of the REC for further action….”
The Police spokesman announced the fate of the police commissioner. Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, told journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, “The IGP has given directive that the commissioner of police on election security in Adamawa State, CP Barde should pull out of Adamawa State and the Commissioner of Police in charge of Gombe State, CP Etim Equa to proceed to Adamawa immediately, to go and supervise election and provide necessary information and ensure that the process is a success.”