…beats Governor Bindow with 40,166 votes
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has emerged the winner of the Adamawa State governorship election.
Fintiri, a former acting governor of Adamawa State, polled 367,471 votes to defeat Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla (Bindow) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 334,995 votes.
Senator Abdul-Azeez Nyako of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) came third with 113,237 votes, while Chief Emmanuel Bello of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came fourth with 29, 792 votes.
The Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Andrew Haruna said Fintiri, announced the results this morning after a supplementary election in 44 units across 14 local government areas of the state.
He said “Ahmadu Umaru of the PDP, the APC, having scored the highest votes and satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
Multiple political parties participated in the election, but only the PDP and APC made a strong showing.
The previous election on March 9 was declared inconclusive because the margin of 32, 476 votes between Fintiri and Jibrilla was less than the total number of registered voters in 44 polling units where election was cancelled.
Haruna put the number of total votes cast at 899,097, out of which 871,307 were valid and 27,790 invalid.
INEC had earlier fixed the supplementary election for March 23 but a court order sought by the Movement for Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD) candidate, Rev. Eric Theman, stopped the election.
The MRDD candidate filed a suit challenging INEC over exclusion of his party’s logo on the ballot paper, requesting the court to grant an order restraining INEC from going ahead with the supplementary election.
On 26th March, Justice Abdulazeez Waziri of the state High Court eventually vacated his earlier order, giving INEC the nod to conclude the election and within hours, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Kassim Gaidam announced the decision to conduct the supplementary polls yesterday (Thursday).
APC leadership had on Tuesday rejected the date and threatened to boycott the election, saying the notice given to them was too short and that many voters election should not hold on work day. After deliberation the party reversed itself, expressing readiness to participate.
Fintiri went to the polls with a lead of 32,476 votes against Jibrilla. The total number of registered voters in the polling units involved in the supplementary election was 40,988 out of which, the PDP said only 31,027 collected their PVCs. Fintiri eventually won in all the local governments where supplementary election held. They are Girei, Yola South, Song, Lamurde, Fufore, Hong, Shelleng, Ganye, Guyuk, Numan, Michika, Toungo and Madagali.
Moreover, more than half of the 44 polling units involved were located in PDP strongholds. So pundits believed the fate of Jibrilla had since been sealed, describing the supplementary election as a mere formality.
Sources close to Jibrilla confirmed to Daily Trust that Governor Jibrilla had been shuttling between Lagos and Abuja, lobbying the National Leader of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and some powerful figures in the Presidency to stop INEC from conducting the election. The governor left Yola for Abuja on Monday in the same plane as the Director Field Operations, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Nuhu Ribadu was sighted in Lagos with Tinubu and was not seen in Yola until the election day.
Except for Rivers State, winners have been declared in the remaining 28 states were gubernatorial elections were held.
Fintiri, born on October 27, 1967 in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa, is a graduate of History from University of Maiduguri.
He was the Speaker of Adamawa House of Assembly in 2014, and also served as acting governor in July 2014, following the impeachment of the then Governor Murtala Nyako and the resignation of the then deputy governor Bala Ngillari.