An Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) will take charge of security as the Independent National Electoral Commission holds the supplementary gubernatorial election in Adamawa State today.
The exercise is seen as a straight contest between Governor Jibrilla Bindow of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It was gathered that the AIG Zone 3 Yola, Haruna Huzi Mshellia and the Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Adamu Audi Madaki were on ground to manage security as there was no deployment of additional senior officers from the headquarters so far.
The APC, which had earlier threatened to boycott today election, also made a U-turn saying it will now participate.
Before the March 9 election was declared inconclusive, Fintiri, a former acting governor of the state, who ruled for only three months, had polled 367,471 votes, while Bindow had 334,995 votes.
The result showed that Fintiri was leading with a margin 32,476.
However, ballots cancelled for various infractions amounted to 40,988, making INEC to schedule a rerun in the affected 44 polling units in 28 registration areas.
The rerun was further stalemated following a court case instituted by the Movement for Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD) and its candidate, Rev. Eric Theman, on the grounds that their party logo was not on the ballot, a development which, they said, denied them the right to be voted for by the electorate.
INEC scheduled the supplementary election following the discharge of a court order by Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri of the Adamawa State High Court which restrained the commission from conducting the poll.
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Abdullahi confirmed their readiness to participate in the election involving 44 polling units across 28 wards in 14 local government areas.
“I told you we are participating in the election tomorrow (today). I don’t want further questions,” the official said.
But the State Organising Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Ahmed Lawal, who shed light on their level of preparations, called on their supporters to go out and vote.
He told the newsmen in Yola that the party reviewed its earlier decision to boycott the poll and had resolved to fully participate in the poll.
He, however, said that despite the INEC’s refusal to heed their call for a re-schedule, the APC would still win the election.
“Our earlier boycott threat was not out of fear, but to encourage participation by other political parties who had been taken unawares by the date for the supplementary election.
“To us, we will participate and win the re-run even as INEC has refused to rescind its decision to hold the re-run tomorrow,” he said.
“Adamawa is an APC state, and with the developmental strides recorded by Gov. Mohammed Bindow, it is a sure qualification for winning an election,” Lawal said.
In a press release issued yesterday, the PDP chairman in the state, Barrister Tahir Shehu, called on voters to come out en mass and exercise their right to vote candidates of their choice.
The PDP, however, accused the leadership of the ruling APC of plotting to hire thugs from Kano and Kaduna to disrupt today’s supplementary election.
He alleged that two governors from the North West had promised to assist the Adamawa APC to manipulate the process of the re-run to ensure victory for Governor Bindow.
The statement, therefore, advised voters to remain calm and ensure they exercised their right to vote for candidates of their choice.
In a swift reaction, however, the APC Publicity Secretary said the statement had exposed the evil plot of the PDP toward the election.
“God has exposed them; they are telling Adamawa people what they want to do. As a party, we never used thugs, but the PDP has the history of using violence…We have no state other than Adamawa, so we pray for peace,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Barrister Kassim Gaidam, said the commission was fully prepared for the exercise as staff and materials had been deployed.
“We are 100 percent prepared for the election. We collected materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and dispatched them to local areas. We made arrangement with the security to put everything in place,” he said.
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