Olufemi Atoyebi and Hindi Livinus
The supplementary governorship election in Adamawa State will hold on Thursday (today) after weeks of litigation process occasioned by a suit instituted by Mustapha Shaba, who is the counsel for the governorship candidate of the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy, Eric Thema.
The suit is challenging the omission of the MRDD party logo from the ballot papers used by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the first governorship election in the state on March 9.
This, Shaba argued, impeded his client’s chances in the election.
After initially granting the party’s wish which stopped the INEC from conducting the supplementary election on March 23, Justice Abdulaziz Waziri of the State High Court in Yola lifted the restraining order, after which INEC scheduled the election for Thursday (today).
The election will hold in 40 polling units across 14 local government areas of the state with 40,998 votes to be contested for by the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress.
The PDP candidate, Hammadu Fintiri, is leading with 32,476 votes margin from the first election after polling 367,471 votes while the candidate of the APC, Jubrilla Bindow, who is the incumbent governor, had 334,995 votes.
In declaring the election inconclusive, INEC said the margin recorded was lower than the 40,998 votes that were cancelled.
While the APC expressed concern over the schedule of the poll by INEC, the PDP said the ruling party was afraid of the rerun because of the deficit it recorded in the first election.
The PDP Chairman in the state, Tahir Shehu, alleged that the APC wanted the election to be annulled so that a fresh election would be conducted during which the APC would resort to violence to secure victory.
According to the schedule released by INEC in the state, election will hold in Fufore LGA with one polling unit, Ganye council area with one polling unit, Girei LGA with two polling units, Guyuk LGA with four polling units, Hong LGA with four polling units and six polling units in Lamurde LGA.
Other LGAs where election will hold are Madagali with one polling unit, Michika with five polling units, Mubi North with four polling units, Numan with seven polling units, Shelleng with one polling unit, Song with three polling units, Toungo with two polling units and Yola South with five polling units.
Meanwhile, the ruling APC in Adamawa, which had earlier threatened to boycott the election if INEC refused to reschedule the election, has made a U-turn.
It has called on its supporters in the state to participate in the election.
The state Organising Secretary of the party, Alhaji Ahmed Lawal, gave the directive on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Yola.
Lawal said the party reviewed its earlier decision to boycott the poll and had resolved to fully participate in the poll.
He said, “Having consulted with all the party stakeholders, we have resolved to participate in the supplementary election fixed for Thursday (today).
“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 rerun even as INEC has refused to rescind its decision to hold the rerun tomorrow (today).
“We appeal to the APC supporters to come out and vote for the APC massively so as to ensure victory for the party in the election.”