The Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council has condemned alleged plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission to increase the number of the polling units for the Adamawa State Governorship re-run, whose date has yet to be fixed, from 69 to 77.
The outcome of the March 18 governorship elections for Adamawa State was declared inconclusive by the state collation and returning officer, Professor Mohammed Mele.
Mele said he could not declare Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the PDP, winner, despite polling 421,524 of the votes cast to defeat his closest challenger Sen. Aishatu Binani, of the All Progressive Congress, who scored 390,275 votes, because the number of cancelled votes in the 69 polling units affected by election violence across 47 registration areas was higher than the margin of lead of 31,249 established between the two leading candidates.
He categorically stated that there were 69 polling units that were cancelled with a total number of 41,796 registered voters and 37,016 permanent voters card collected, adding that because the number of PVCs collected is higher than the votes the PDP candidate, was leading the APC candidate, the election is inconclusive while INEC will fix a date for a re-run election.
But the PDP, on Thursday, in Adamawa State, called on INEC to assert the independence of the commission which has been soiled by some actions so far taken by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Yunusa Ari, by relieving him of his duty as REC.
Addressing journalists at the government house Yola, Felix Tangwami, who spoke on behalf of the party’s Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council, said the party no longer has confidence in the neutrality of the REC.
He said Yunusa “conspired to influence the polls in favour of the APC and its candidate. It has further uncovered that he has submitted to INEC headquarters that 77 polling units were cancelled in Adamawa state instead of 66 cancelled for governorship which is at variance with what was declared by the returning officer Adamawa State Professor Mohammed Mele. This means there’s an additional 8 polling units from Yunusa Ari and the APC and this will not be accepted.”
The party said it is ready to make available all evidence at its disposal to prove the Adamawa REC betrayed his oath of office to be impartial and called on INEC to save the reputation of the electoral body by relieving Barrister Yunusa from the duty of conducting the Adamawa Governorship re-run polls which date has yet to be set.
“We call on INEC to investigate what is now termed as Hudu Yunusa election manipulation theory and quickly remove him from Adamawa State, as we have lost confidence in him as an impartial umpire because he’ no longer independent but dependent,” Tangwami further stated.
However, the Adamawa the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commissioner, Yunusa Ari, has dismissed the allegations coming from the PDP as frivolous. Ari who spoke with our reporter on the phone said the PDP has made several allegations against him, adding that he has performed his assignment without any bias and to the best of his conscience because he will stand before God to give account of his actions.