Fintiri Vs. Binani: Steer Clear Of Adamawa Politics, Group Warns Women Affairs Minister
A civil society group known as the Concerned Citizens for Peace and Development has asked the Minister of Women Affairs, Paulen Tallen, to desist from meddling in the politics of Adamawa State.
The group spoke ahead of the final decision on the stalemated Adamawa governorship election where the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could not declare a winner over the margin between the two leading candidates – Ahmadu Fintiri and Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani).
Fintiri, the incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , had scored 421,524 votes while Binani of the All Progressives Congress and current Senator representing Adamawa Central had 390, 275 votes before INEC declared the election inconclusive.
According to the electoral umpire, canceled votes at the election were more than the margin of victory between Fintiri and Binani.
While INEC is being awaited to conduct a supplementary governorship election to determine the winner of the poll, the CSO warned against interference in the process by Tallen and other non-indigenes of the state.
Their admonition came after the Women in Politics Forum (WPF) said it would accept a repeat of what happened in 2011 when “Tallen contested for the Plateau State Governorship election and was cruising to Victory when announcing results suddenly stopped, and when it was finally announced, they had stolen her mandate.”
The CSO, however, asked “What is the interest of women like Paulen Tallen who can’t boast of any electoral value in her home state of Plateau? Are tenets of democracy no longer sacrosanct that a winner should emerge through the popular majority?
“We in Adamawa cannot allow someone from Plateau State to come and ruin our beautiful state. Is this not the same Pauline Tallen Plateau as Deputy Governor in 2007 that who was removed from office? If she was that good, why was she removed from office and failed woefully when she contested as the governor of Plateau State?” Dominic Ogakwu, national coordinator of the group queried during a press on Sunday in Abuja.
Ogakwu also criticised the APC candidate’s camp for allegedly misleading the public that Binani had won the election when INEC had not made any pronouncement to that effect.
“Binani began to fly a kite using unsubmitted Fofure Local Government results where over thirty one thousands votes was recorded in her favor. The imaginary votes threw confusion in the electoral process as people from all walks of life began to congratulate Binani as the first female Governor in the history of Nigeria, including the international community even without final collation and announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,” he said.
The group further berated INEC for declaring the election inconclusive, saying “declaring an inconclusive election after announcing results from twenty one local government areas by the INEC Returning Officer, Professor Mohammed Mele, is not tenable.
“According to Mele, a winner could not emerge because the number of collected Permanent Voter Cards, PVC, in 69 polling units in which elections were not held and the canceled figures are higher than the winning margin of 31,250 polled by Fintiri.
“…there was no reason to declare the elections inconclusive when the result properly indicated that Governor Fintiri scored 421,524 votes, Senator Binnani 390,274 votes in the 21 local governments of Adamawa state. What is the likelihood that all the 37, 000 collected PVCs will vote and all for Binani?” Ogakwu further queried.