INEC Insists on Supplementary Governorship Election in Adamawa
POLITICS DIGEST – INEC assured that it would conduct credible supplementary governorship election in Adamawa that would be the pride of Nigerians and of the international community.
INEC’s Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, gave the assurance when some women staged a protest at the Commission’s headquarters in respect of the Adamawa election.
The protesters were led by the President, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Hajiya Lami Lau.
INEC had earlier in the week declared the March 18 governorship election in Adamawa as inconclusive.
The final results tallied by INEC at the election showed that the Adamawa governor, Mr Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the highest number of votes.
The Commission, however, declared that cancelled votes at the election were more than the margin of victory between Fintiri and the runner-up, Sen. Aishatu Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It said a new date would be fixed for re-run elections in areas where the exercise did not hold on March 18.
Okoye thanked the women for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner, noting that the Commission belonged to all Nigerians.
“We regard our role in INEC as public trust; any individual, group or organisations with any grievance or complaint are free to come here and voice or ventilate their grievances.
“The people of Adamawa are the only ones with the right to elect their governor; those of us in the Commission and Nigerians from other states have no vote in Adamawa.
“Any individual that is not from Adamawa and who does not reside in the state has no vote in the state.
“It is only the people of the state that will determine who their next governor will be,’’ Okoye told the protesters.
He explained that the responsibility of the Commission as an electoral management body was to provide a platform for people of the state to exercise their franchise.
He added that though the Commission provided the platform, the election was declared inconclusive.
“We will go back and give the people of the state the opportunity to have a conclusion relating to their governorship election.
“The Commission will go back to Adamawa and conduct a supplementary election that Nigerians and the international community will be proud of,’’ Okoye stressed.
The INEC commissioner noted that it had no political party and did not support any political candidate or individual.
He reiterated that the faith of Adamawa would only be determined by the people of the state.
He stressed that Nigerians who did not register to vote in Adamawa and those that did not vote in the state had no right to determine who the next governor would be.
In her remarks earlier, Lau, leader of the protesters, commended INEC for upholding its integrity in Abia and Enugu states by ensuring that the right things were done.
“In this regard, Nigerian women are demanding the verification of Adamawa governorship election results like it was done in Abia and Enugu,’’ she said.
She appealed to INEC to release the Adamawa governorship election result of Sen. Binani.
She added that Nigerian women had vowed not to rest until her mandate was assured.