Adamawa: Kudos to INEC

0

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC reportedly suspended the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State, Barrister Hudu Yunusa Ari. The suspension of the Resident Commissioner for the electoral body in the state was said to have followed his inglorious role in the declaration of Senator Aisha Dahiru popularly called Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Governor-Elect on Sunday.

The REC was said to have against the electoral acts usurped the power of the Returning Officer to the State for the governorship supplementary elections, Prof Mohammed Mele and announced Senator Binani as the winner of the election even while collation of results from the rerun which was held on Saturday was yet to be completed.

The REC had announced Binani winner and left her opposition in the governorship race and the incumbent governor, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to be wondering if such declaration which was not in consonance with the rule of the game happened real life or one hell of a nightmare.

Hudu’s suspension after his sheer act of brigandage was said to have been announced by Barr Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, in a statement released on Monday.

The suspended REC has been asked to stay away from the Commission’s office in Adamawa while the Administrative Secretary was directed to take over the affairs of the office until further notice.

The statement from INEC partly reads, “Following his purported declaration of the result for the Adamawa State Governorship election yesterday Sunday 16th April 2023, the Commission has withdrawn its delegated powers from Barr. Hudu Yunusa Ari as the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the State.

“Accordingly, he has been directed to stay away from the Commission’s office in Adamawa State forthwith while the Administrative Secretary has been directed to take over the affairs of the State office until further notice.”

The Returning Officer for the March 18 governorship election, Prof Mohammed Mele had on March 20 declared the election inconclusive.

Making the announcement at the Collation Centre in Yola, capital of Adamawa, Prof Mele said the decision became necessary because a clear winner had not emerged after collation of results from all the 21 Local Government Areas in the state. The race had been between Sen. Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed popularly called Binani of APC and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of PDP.

After the collation of results, the Returning Officer said Fintiri polled a total of 421,524 while his closest challenger recorded a total of 390,275 votes.

However, despite the difference of 31,249 votes, the commission said a winner can’t be declared because the total number of Voters Cards collected in polling units where elections were cancelled is 37,016.

This leaves room for a possible scenario where the candidate in the second position could potentially catch up and surpass the leading candidate.

Relying on the provision of the Electoral Act, which stipulated that if the number of PVCs collected in areas where elections didn’t hold or cancelled is greater than the margin of lead, a supplementary election shall be held to determine a winner, Mele declared the election inconclusive.

It was against this that INEC fixed Saturday, March 15 for supplementary elections to be held in the polling units where votes were cancelled or elections failed to hold across the 21 local governments of the state.

The collation of this supplementary elections was said to have been on course on Saturday with about 11 local governments covered when the exercise was suspended with an agreement that the rest results would be collated on Sunday.

It was while everyone was waiting for the collation to be done with on Sunday that the REC who seemed to be acting to please a particular vested interest stormed the collation centre and forcefully announced Binani amidst protest from members of the PDP as the governor-elect for Adamawa.

Those who have watched the thuggery-like behavior of this suspended Adamawa REC when he was acting against the rules of engagement and the Constitution of the land have said that the drama could best be termed a show of shame.

Many are quite surprised that such a learned person, a Lawyer by training who knows the import of his actions and inaction in such a sensitive national assignment as election could because of his own selfishness want to throw a whole state into orgy of violence.

Nigerians are however grateful to the Prof Mamood Yakubu-led INEC for moving so swiftly to arrest the ugly situation by declaring null and void the illegality of the agent provocateur adding that the REC acted outside his jurisdiction.

The electoral body has also reportedly suspended the Commissioner asking him to stay away from the Adamawa State INEC office.

Nigerians are however saying that for portraying the electoral umpire in a bad light and trying to puncture the integrity of INEC, Barr. Hudu should be prosecuted alongside other accomplices who were hell-bent on subverting the will of the people as freely expressed at the poll.

While it is good to encourage women to also  occupy top political position like that of the governorship, presidential and so on, such should be done in accordance with the rules of the land and not through any shortcut or illegal route.

This is said to have been behind the manipulative tendencies that have characterised the governorship race in Adamawa State. Unfortunately, good governance is not a function of gender but patriotic and good heart that is irrevocably committed to serving the people.