After days of suspense and one month after the March 18 governorship elections, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri has emerged as the winner of what some might describe a drama-filled supplementary election in Adamawa State.
In last Saturday’s rerun, Fintiri, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 9,337 votes besting Senator Aishatu ‘Binani’ Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 6,513 votes.
At the end of the entire exercise, Fintiri polled 430,861 votes, defeating Binani’s 398,788 votes.
The announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at 5:49 pm on Tuesday was preceded by a series of political intrigues.
With last month’s governorship election declared inconclusive by INEC, a supplementary election was scheduled for last Saturday.
However, on Sunday, as collation was underway, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Hudu Yunusa Ari, prematurely declared Binani as the winner, contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Section 25 of the Electoral Act, 2022 empowers only the returning officer to announce the result and declare the winner of an election at the state collation centre in the case of election of a governor of a state.
Incidentally, results had been declared for only 10 of the 20 local government areas (LGAs) in the supplementary poll, which indicated Fintiri was leading, having won in seven LGAs next 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.