The political tension in Adamawa has hit the roof, as a delay in the announcement of the winner in the gubernatorial election involving Senator Aishatu Ahmed Binani and Ahmadu Fintiri has led to a furore.
Fintiri, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is seeking re-election and Binani, through the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) hopes to break the glass ceiling that has seen men hold the keys to Adamawa governor’s office since 1993.
Results from 20 local governments have been announced so far, leaving just one left. Fintri Binani is leading with 35,615 votes, making it the closest governorship contest when compared to the gubernatorial elections in other states.
Binani has the backing of the ruling party, APC, and Fintiri is betting on his incumbent position, putting INEC in a dilemma over the weekend.
On Sunday, the Returning Officer in charge of the state governorship elections, Prof. Mohammed Alaminu Mele, had to suspend the collation of the results with one LGA to go, as pressure mounts from both sides.
PDP and other party agents, excluding APC, protested the suspension, as Furore (coincidental name) the LGA left is reported to have a low voting population that could put Binani in the lead – meaning Binani’s chances is next to nothing.
However, INEC’s returning officer resisted the calls from party agents to announce the winner of the election till Monday.
The suspension followed reports that the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Barrister Hudu Yunusa, allegedly mounted pressure on Mele to do everything possible to announce Binani as the winner of the governorship election.
In a yet-to-be-confirmed audio call, Yunusa was allegedly heard telling the returning officer that, “I have received phone calls from the highest authority for you to do everything possible to return Adamawa in favour of the woman (Binani),” ThisDay and Sahara Reporters reported.
But Mele insisted on going by the books. With the audio tape making rounds, thugs reportedly in the camp of Binani reportedly took to the streets early on Monday.
They damaged cars on the road and attacked motorists, with one of the victims being Senator Binta Massi, the state pioneer chairman of APC.
Massi, who was a member of the upper chamber between 2015 and 2019 under the APC, was bruised and her car damaged by the thugs who she went to report to securities positioned at the INEC collation Centre on Bank Road, Jimeta, for assistance.