Women protest Adamawa governorship election results, INEC promises credible supplementary poll
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday promised to conduct a credible supplementary governorship election in Adamawa State.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, gave the assurance when some women staged a protest over the Adamawa election at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
The protesters were led by the President, the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Hajiya Lami Lau.
INEC had earlier in the week declared the March 18 governorship election in Adamawa State as inconclusive.
In the results announced by the commission, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 421,524 votes while the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Aishat Dahiru Binani, had 390,275 votes.
INEC, however, declared that cancelled votes in the election were more than the margin between the two leading candidates.
It said a new date would be fixed for re-run elections in areas where the exercise did not hold on March 18.
At the rally, Okoye thanked the women for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.
He said: “We regard our role in INEC as public trust; any individual, group or organisations with any grievance or complaint is free to come here and voice or ventilate their grievances.
“The people of Adamawa are the only ones with the right to elect their governor; those of us in the commission and Nigerians from other states have no vote in Adamawa.
“Any individual that is not from Adamawa and who does not reside in the state has no vote in the state.
“It is only the people of the state that will determine who their next governor will be.”
He stressed that the responsibility of INEC as an electoral management body was to provide a platform for the people of the state to exercise their franchise.
“We will go back and give the people of the state the opportunity to have a conclusion relating to their governorship election.
“The Commission will go back to Adamawa and conduct a supplementary election that Nigerians and the international community will be proud of,’’ Okoye added.
In her remarks, Lau commended INEC for upholding its integrity in Abia and Enugu States.
“In this regard, Nigerian women are demanding the verification of Adamawa governorship election results like it was done in Abia and Enugu,’’ she said.
She appealed to INEC to release the Adamawa governorship election result for Binani.
The NCWS added that Nigerian women would not rest until her mandate was assured.
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