From Emmanuel Ande, Yola
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer for the Adamawa state governorship election, professor Mohammed Mele, on Monday night declared the governorship poll keenly contested by incumbent Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Peoples Democratic party (PDP) and Senator Aishatu Binani, of All Progressive Congress (APC), as inconclusive.
The returning officer said that the winner could not emerge because the number of collected Permanent Voter Cards PVC in 69 polling units that the governorship election did not take place is higher than the figures of 31,250 that Fintiri is leading with.
The INEC released official document showed that the affected 69 polling units have a total of 41,796 registered voters, but that only 37,016 collected their PVCs which is more than the margin between Fintiri and Binani.
Governor Fintiri scored 421,524 votes, senator Binani got 390,274 votes in the 21 local governments of Adamawa state.
This is the second time Fintiri will be going into governorship re-run election on the platform of the PDP. In 2019 governorship election was also declared inconclusive and a re-run between him and the former governor Mohammed Bindow was conducted.
During the 2019 Fintiri got 376,552 votes, while Bindow scored 336,386 votes. Governor Fintiri won the re-run with 1,656 votes, Bindow lost with 465 votes.
A similar political drama is playing out in the 2023 governorship re-run in Adamawa state. The local governments with the highest number of polling units and voters are PDP stronghold areas.
Numan local government in southern senatorial district of Adamawa state, is core PDP council, since the return of democracy in 1999 no political party has won Numan, it is always PDP. The INEC official document released on Monday night, show that 7805 polling units with 7,357 eligible voters will be voting during the re-run in Numan.
The re-elected House of Representatives in Numan Mr. Laori Kwamoti, is PDP, the re-elected deputy speaker in the state Assembly is PDP, with other sons and daughters occupying juicy offices under the present government. This means APC may be facing a tough task pulling Numan out of PDP’s hand.
Another local government affected by the re-run with higher number of voters is Michika. Michika which is another home of PDP, has 3,464 polling units affected, with a total of 3,464 PVCs collected. The local government was won by PDP with a wide margin. The House of Representatives re-elected Mr. Zakaria Dauda is PDP, the Assembly members are all PDP members. It is another local government that APC will face another battle to dethrone PDP.
The third local government with higher number of affected polling units for the re-run is Lamurde. Lamurde has the same political history like Numan been occupied by the same ethnic group called Bachama. The local government has two deputy governors.The outgoing deputy governor Seth Crowther and newly appointed female deputy governor professor Kaletapwa Farauta, are all from Lamurde, PDP won the area with another wide margin, this means the re-run will not change the pattern of voting. 2275 polling units are affected in Lamurde, with 2,201 voters will participate in the re-run.
Fintiri needs only 4000 to 5000 votes to be declared winner of the Adamawa state governorship election. With 13,022 votes in just three Local governments under PDP stronghold, it seems there will be no political magic that can give APC victory. The home town of Fintiri Madagali is also among the local governments that the re-run will take place.
The APC governorship candidate senator Binani is a politician with many political tactics to deal with her opponents. One of her political deadly weapon is her generous nature to her selected groups.
She overpowered six powerful men including former governor Bindow and former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) Nuhu Ribadu, with others at APC governorship primary election. She was underrated by her opponents, but she shocked them with her heavy political experience.
Governor Fintiri with the backing of PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, will have to work 24 hours to tame the rampaging Binani during the re-run. The problem Binani is facing is that the APC stronghold areas affected by the re-run don’t have large number of voters like PDP.
The two political parties PDP and APC have commenced massive mobilisation of their members to the affected councils for the last battle for the soul of Dogueri Government House.
Ande, a journalist writes from Yola.