The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Adamawa State, Aishatu Ahmed, popularly known as Binani, has expressed support for the declaration of the governorship election in the state as inconclusive.
The state collation officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Muhammadu Mele of the University of Maiduguri, had declared the election inconclusive due to the margin of votes.
The incumbent Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who is seeking re-election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 421,524, while Ahmed scored 390,275.
He said, “Elections were not held in 47 wards, affecting 69 polling units. So, this gives us a margin of 31,249. The total number of PVCs collected in places where elections were not held amounted to 37,016.”
Ahmed welcomed the decision, alleging that violence and irregularities were recorded in 16 of the 21 local government areas (LGAs) in the state.
“My position is that the INEC REC did very well by declaring the result inconclusive and my reasons are simple,” she said.
“Whoever saw or monitored the election of Adamawa State knows that the election was marred with violence, rigging, over-voting and all manner of irregularities.
“The figures that were deposed was really, as far as I’m concerned, concocted figures.”
According to her, several of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices were bypassed, allowing for over-voting and intimidation of electoral staff in a number of locations.
“[For instance] if the BVAS accredited only 10 people, you’ll find out that over 30 people must have voted. That is part of irregularities,” she added.
In Ahmed’s view, the only way for the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) to “come out clean” was to declare that result inconclusive.
Citing the Electoral Act, she argued that INEC has the powers to review the results within seven days to determine whether any declaration was made under duress or where it failed to comply with the electoral laws and regulations.
Asked if she was fearful about returning to the state for a supplementary election, she answered in the negative.
“I’m never afraid, but all I’m asking is that let INEC please conduct a review on this said local governments so that it will bring out the real figures for all the candidates,” the APC candidate said.
“That is all I am asking, and as soon as that is done, we would be home and dry, and then we would be confident to go back to the field.”
On the possibility of becoming the first elected female governor, Ahmed said she feels great and happy.
“I’m not doing this for Binani; I’m not doing this for myself. I’m doing it for every girl child in this country. It’s for all the women in Nigeria,” she added.