Knocks for rulling party in Adamawa over council election
The July 30 local governments election conducted in Adamawa State by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), under the watch of Governor Mohammed Umar Bindo, has continued to generate counter- reactions from different quarters.
While some analysts faulted the conduct of the election as they wondered whether Nigerian political leaders were actually ready to support the growth of democracy, others were of the opinion that the APC-led administration “may not add any credible value to democracy at the end of the day.”
From what The Guardian gathered after the Adamawa council polls, the governor, who is supposed to be the chief organiser of the council election was allegedly absent on the day.
It was alleged that he travelled to the Federal Capital, Abuja for a wedding ceremony while the three senators and six members of the House of Representatives from the state and other prominent politicians were also claimed to be absent on the poll day.
On the controversies over the delayed take-off of the polls in many local governments, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Mr. Dickson Martins said it was due to lack of election materials.
According to him, “I received reports from different local governments over the delayed take-off of elections in several councils. Like in Demsa, Numan Guyuk, Lamurde and other places, the election materials available are not enough, so they decided to wait for additional materials to avoid disenfranchising some voters.”
In another encounter, the Returning Officer for Numan local government, Mr. Wills Fosano, disclosed that the number of registered voters was 51,000, but only 20,000 ballot papers was available, which made it impossible for 31,000 eligible voters to participate in the exercise.”
The Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission, Alhaji Isa Shitima, later confirmed the lack of sensitive election materials like result sheets during the election.
He attributed the challenges of the election to lack of sensitive materials.
A member of the State House of Assembly representing Madagali constituency, Mr. Emmanuel Tsamdu, disclosed that in his ward, which has 7000 registered voters “only 700 ballots papers were available for voting coupled with the fact there was no result sheets.”
He said that the Adamawa council polls was indicative of the fact that the APC government lacked the credentials or the ability to conduct elections.
According to him, “Nigerians can now know that it is only the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has the answer to the country’s problem. APC from all indications lacks the capacity to handle this country, it is good that Nigerians have tested the bitter pills of the ruling APC, come 2019, PDP will not campaign, APC has already done that for us.
“I have not seen this type of election before, even a child that is less than 12 years will know that there was no election in the state.”
The PDP chairman in Gombi local government, Mr. Ahmed A. Abbo also chided the APC, saying: “The council election was a mockery of President Muhammadu Buhari’s corruption war. APC has proved that it has no respect for rule of law and the people that voted them.”
He dismissed the change slogan of the APC as pure fake “it is clear therefore, that the corruption APC is fighting was not appreciated even by its members. If APC claimed it is fighting corruption in Nigeria, we have seen the worst corruption in Adamawa,” he said.
Abbo pointed out that the only way the people at the grass root will have the right to vote for their leaders was for the National Assembly to give local governments autonomy, this he said would take away the powers of state governors from converting councils into their private estate.
In Lamurde local government, it was claimed that the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate was declared winner, but the APC candidate was later sworn in as the elected chairman.
The Guardian investigations revealed that the crisis rocking APC in the state was responsible for the governor’s absence at the poll with other top party leaders.
Investigations revealed that Governor Bindow was forced by presidency to conduct the poll, since the APC candidates were hand pick by a group called ‘Abuja politicians’ from Adamawa state. His absence at the elections was meant to register his anger over the decision by the Presidency to force him to conduct the poll, sources revealed.
Further investigations confirmed that the recent return of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, a former EFCC chairman and other top politicians in the state to APC has snowballed the crisis in the party.
Martins, dismissed most of the allegations but refused to comment on why his principal was absent.
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