From Umar Dankano, Yola
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Gubernatorial candidate in Adamawa State, Hon.Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has said that the declaration of the state’s governorship election inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will not affect his leading position in the contest.
Fintir told journalists in a mobile phone interview Monday in Yola that the reasons adduced by INEC for cancellations in some polling units is being taken in good faith, so that the electorate in those affected units can be given another chance to vote their choice.
Fintiri, who expressed satisfaction with the entire process of the exercise, urged his teeming supporters to be calm and law abiding.
In his reaction to the proposed supplementary election, National Vice Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in charge of North East Zone, Comrade Salihu Mustapha alleged that the elections was marred with irregularities and fraud.
Comrade Mustapha, who served as APC agent at collation centre, stated that his party is rejecting the outcome of the exercise, saying they will challenge it at the election tribunal.
Earlier, while declaring the election inconclusive at the state INEC head Quarters where the 2019 Collation centre is situated, returning officer of the governorship election, Professor Andrew Haruna announced that based on the various submission of local government collation officers, the elections in 44 polling units were cancelled.
Professor Haruna, who is Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Gashua, stated that 40,988 votes were cancelled in the affected 44 polling units across the state which tempered with the interest of voters.
Haruna stated that the margin of lead between the two major contenders (PDP & APC) is 32,479; and going by the margin of lead which is backed up by law in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections.
“In page 17 paragraph C of the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the elections on the margin of lead principle state that where the margin of lead between the two leading candidates in an election is not counted or voided .
“In line with S.26 and S.53 of electoral Act,the returning officer shall decline to make a return until votes have taken place in the affected polling units and the results collated in to relevant forms for declaration and return.
“This is the margin of the lead principle and shall apply whatever necessary in making returns in all elections to which this regulations and guidelines apply “.professor added
The returning officer thereby declared that looking at the total number of votes which has been harvested from the total number of voters registered in the 44 polling units in the 29 Registration Areas,the margin of lead principle should apply.
“And therefore,I declare this exercise inconclusive “.Haruna announced.
Our correspondent in Yola reports that the returning officer announced that Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintir of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) is leading with 367,471,While Governor Muhammadu Umaru Bindow scored 334,995 and Senator Abdulazeez Nyako got 113,205 respectively.