By Ali Abare Abubakar, Umar Muhammad Puma and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
- Says it’s the will of God
- As Fintiri appeals removal
Following the order of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which sacked Umaru Ahmadu Fintiri as Acting Governor of Adamawa state, Bala Ngilari, was yesterday sworn-in as the governor of the state.
Ngilari, in a brief chat with a national newspaper shortly after the court judgment, attributed his victory at the Federal High Court that ordered that he be sworn-in immediately as the “Will of God and respect for due process.”
“It is the Will of God and I give Him all the glory” he stated.
He however appealed for calm and support from all stakeholders of the party in the state.
The former deputy governor did not defect with Murtala Nyako when he (Nyako) joined the All Progressive Congress (APC) last year, when five PDP governors defected to the main opposition party.
Ngilari was deputy to ousted governor Murtala Nyako, who reportedly tendered his resignation letter to pave the way for the eventual impeachment of his boss, but who later returned to the courts to challenge his removal from office, insisting he did not resign.
Acting on the court order, which not only nullified Fintiri’s swearing in as acting governor but also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to conduct the scheduled re-run election slated for October 11, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Adoke, directed that the court ruling be complied with.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had stated among others, in his ruling earlier in the day, “AN ORDER of this Honourable Court directing the Chief Judge of Adamawa State (or Acting Chief Judge, as the case may be) or the President of the Customary Court of Appeal to swear-in Barr. Bala James Ngilari (the Plaintiff) IMMEDIATELY as the substantive governor of Adamawa state.”
Meanwhile, the ousted acting governor, Umar Fintiri, has said he will appeal his removal by a federal court, as according to agency reports, Fintiri has asked his lawyer to appeal the decision immediately.
Unfolding events in Adamawa state recently have vindicated Peoples Daily lead story of yesterday, indicating that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was plotting to foil the re-run election as well as remove Fintiri as acting governor of the state.
Since the order by the Federal High Court and the subsequent swearing in of Bala Ngilari as the substantive Governor of Adamawa State, reactions have continued to trail the court judgment that led to the sacking of Fintiri as acting governor.
The All Progressives Congress (APC)
The state chapter of the APC said yesterday’s ruling by a Federal High Court sacking Acting Governor Umar Fintiri of Adamawa is a welcome development for the state.
State Chairman of APC, Binta Garba, said in Yola yesterday that with the outcome of Ngilari’s case, the party was hopeful that Murtala Nyako, who is also challenging his removal, would return.
“One down, we are looking to the next judgment regarding Nyako with full hope.
Once more, the judiciary deserves commendation for checking impunity,” Binta said.
She however noted that the judgment had affected the party’s rally scheduled for the day in Yola.
“We will ask dignitaries yet to arrive to stop coming, but our flag bearer will go to the venue now to show appreciation to party faithful that turned up for the rally.”
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
For the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while also reacting to the development, said that the development is a “win-win” situation for the party in the state, as according to the state Secretary of PDP, Tahir Shehu, “whether the election held or not, it was a ‘win-win’ situation for the party.”
INEC suspends Adamawa governorship elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended with immediate effect, the governorship elections in Adamawa state scheduled for this Saturday, following a court order which bars the Commission from going ahead with the proposed polls.
“In compliance with the court order, INEC hereby suspends all preparations for the conduct of governorship bye-election in Adamawa State, which was scheduled to hold on Saturday, 11th October, 2014”, a statement issued yesterday by the acting Secretary of the commission, H. Adamu, said.
Verdict only delayed wish of the people to oust PDP – Atiku
Former Vice-President and presidential aspirant of the APC, Atiku Abubakar has said, even as he is bound as a democrat to abide by Wednesday’s verdict stopping Saturday’s governorship by-election in Adamawa state, it has only delayed the overwhelming desire of the people of the state to vote out the PDP government in the state.
Atiku, in a press statement by his media office in Abuja yesterday said though he is bound to respect the decision of the Federal High Court to reinstate the former Deputy Governor of Adamawa state, Mr. Bala Ngilari as the substantive Acting Governor of the state, the verdict of the court has inevitably delayed the ouster of the PDP whenever the election is held.
“The judicial verdict that may have tacitly cancelled the governorship by-election in Adamawa state for now was a painful development for the membership of the APC in Adamawa state.
“As leaders of the party, we shall respect the verdict of the court; but we must be quick to say that the verdict has merely delayed the overwhelming desire of the people of Adamawa state to vote for change and thumbs down the PDP imposition on a people. Clearly we in the APC had the momentum and therefore an advantage going into Saturday’s election,” Atiku said.
According to him, “The people of Adamawa want change. They expressed that desire throughout the nooks and crannies of the state, as evidenced in the massive momentum going for the candidate of our party during the electioneering campaign.”
He, however, stressed “As democrats, with firm belief in the rule of law, we will respect the verdict of the Judiciary. As politicians championing the course of change for a better and prosperous Nigeria, we shall remain resolute and provide the leadership that will make it possible for the people of Adamawa state, and Nigerians in general, to vote for change whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.”