Adamawa State’s chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has directed that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should declare the governorship candidate of the party, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election, saying the Returning Officer, Professor Andrew Yakubu, declared the poll inconclusive in error.
While addressing journalists yesterday in Yola, the former two-term governor of the state, Mr. Boni Haruna, said the Returning Officer was not properly guided by the commission before he made the announcement that declared the election inconclusive. He said the ground advanced by the Returning Officer that the 44 polling units have 40,988 registered voters cannot be transmitted into
eligible voters because only those that collected their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) are classified as eligible voters.
Haruna said INEC records show that only 31,027 registered voters out of the 40,988 in those 44 polling units collected their PVCs, pointing out that since PDP led with 32,476 the party should, by law, be declared winner of the governorship election.
“To be an eligible voter is only when your PVC is with you,” eh said. So, since the number of those that collected their PVCs is lower than the votes.
Fintiri leads Bindow, the APC candidate, with, he is by law the winner and we demand INEC as unbiased umpire to correct the error of the Returning Officer and declare Fintiri winner.”
The former governor (Haruna) said that the section 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act the Returning Officer relied on was untenable, pointing out that section 53 sub-section 4 of the Electoral Act is very clear and that the commission should use it to declare PDP’s candidate winner.
He warned the state governor not to make any attempt to recruit the services of the military to use them to manipulate the supplementary election as being alleged, because it would be a calamity for him if he underrated the rights of Adamawa people to choose their leaders.
According to him, “If during presidential election there were no soldiers deployed to Adamawa where President Muhammadu Buhari, married, there is no basis for anyone to deploy soldiers in a supplementary election. So we are warning whoever that is planning such to retraced his step.”
The former minister (Haruna) who asked Bindow to called Fintiri to congratulate him over his victory, also gave INEC conditions to be met before PDP would participate in the supplementary poll if the commission insists on going ahead with the exercise despite the glaring facts of error by the returning officer.
“For PDP to participate in the exercise which is not necessary, INEC must provide the list of voters that collected their PVCs in the affected 44 polling units to backup their defense on conducting supplementary governorship poll in those areas.
“INEC should present a register of voters in the 44 polling units, the number of the accredited voters during the last Saturday governorship election in each of the 44 polling units, and that all the election materials for the supplementary poll should be distributed transparently and that the supplementary should take place without any delay.”