Saturday, 30th September 2023

Supplementary Polls: Fintiri, Binani, others know fate today

By Ahmadu Baba Idris (Birnin Kebbi), Ayoyinka Jegede (Uyo), Murtala Adewale (Kano) and Charles Akpeji (Jalingo)
15 April 2023   |   5:21 am
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State, Governor Umaru Fintiri and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Binani are among contestants in the 2023 general election whose fate will be determined today by the electorate in the supplementary polls ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Gov. Umaru Fintiri and Aisha Binani

• We are ready for credible polls, INEC assures
• IGP orders restriction of movement in affected states
• EFCC deploys 100 operatives in Katsina, Jigawa, others
• Eschew violence, conduct yourselves in peaceful manner, President-elect tasks electorate

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State, Governor Umaru Fintiri and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Binani are among contestants in the 2023 general election whose fate will be determined today by the electorate in the supplementary polls ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Also in the fold are the governorship candidates of the APC and PDP in Kebbi State, Gen. Aminu Bande (rtd) and Dr. Nasir Idris, respectively.

Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who is contesting for the Sokoto South Senatorial election seat, and Senator Aliyu Wamakko, who is seeking to be re-elected as the senator representing Sokoto North Senatorial District, would also get the verdict of the electorate today.

The supplementary elections would hold in 2,660 polling units and 185 local councils across 24 states of the federation.
Two governorship seats and 94 legislative seats are up for grabs in the elections and INEC has assured that all arrangements had been concluded to ensure free and fair re-run in the affected areas.

INEC’s National Commissioner, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye, stated this yesterday on the sidelines of the distribution of sensitive election materials in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State.

He said the Commission was fully ready to conduct successful supplementary elections in Kebbi, adding that the Commission had distributed sensitive election materials comprising ballot papers, result sheets and Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

He informed that the Commission had held stakeholders’ engagement with political parties, civil society groups, organisations and security agencies to facilitate hitch-free exercise.

“Head of security agencies have promised that they had the courage, capacity and the resources to deploy adequately and effectively to all the places where supplementary elections would take place.
“On our own part, the Chairman of the Commission had deployed three national commissioners to Kebbi State because of the number of elections we have here.
“So, we are going to have most of our staff acting as Supervisory Presiding Officers, LG Tech and acting in various capacities just to make sure that these elections are conducted successfully.
“We are going to have a conclusion to this election, so, by Sunday, Kebbians will be able to know who their governor is just like any other state of the federation,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Cyril Omoregbe, said the Commission was ready to conduct the supplementary elections in 71 polling units across Abak and Ikono/Ini Federal Constituencies.

The REC revealed that elections would be conducted in polling unites where elections did not hold, where elections were cancelled, where there was over-voting or results were written under duress and such results cancelled by collation officers, even though they might have been uploaded on IReV from such polling units.

Omorogbe, who said the Commission had put adequate security measures in place especially in flashpoint areas, stressed that the election would be transparent, maintaining that INEC would not rig election in favour of anybody.

Speaking with journalists in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, yesterday, the REC, Mr. Hudu Ari, also reassured the electorate that the commission had prepared very well for the conduct of the election.

Ari, who spoke with journalists during the distribution of sensitive materials for the conduct the Governorship and State Assembly supplementary election in 20 affected local councils in the state, said the elections would be conducted in 69 polling units with 36,935 registered voters.

“We have prepared very well for the conduct of the election to be free, fair and credible.
“Today, we are distributing sensitive materials; before then we held stakeholders and security meetings to ensure peaceful conduct before, during and after the election,” he said.

He also disclosed that the affected local councils for the conduct of State Assembly election include Girei, Gombi, Numan and Toungo.

The REC in Taraba State, Umar Gajiram, also stated that plans had been concluded to ensure free, fair and credible supplementary elections in the state.

An Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official uses a Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to accredit a voter at Kwankwaso ward, Malamai in Kano on February 25, 2023, during Nigeria’s presidential and general election. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON / AFP)

In Sokoto State, INEC disclosed that the supplementary elections would hold in the 23 local councils of the state.

A statement issued by INEC’s spokesman in the state, Dr. Shamsudden Sidi, said the election would hold at 522 polling units for the three Senatorial districts and 466 polling units for the 10 out of 11 federal constituencies’ supplementary elections.

Sidi said the breakdown of the 522 polling units in the Senatorial district supplementary elections stand at 169 polling units for the Sokoto East, 185 polling units for Sokoto North and 168 polling units for Sokoto South respectively.

He gave the breakdown for the Federal Constituencies to include, Binji/Silame Constituency 13 polling units, Kware/Wamakko Constituency 58 polling units, Kebbe/Tambuwal Constituency 56 polling units and Sokoto North/Sokoto South Constituency 99 polling units.

Others are: Dange-Shuni/Bodinga/Tureta 68 polling units Isa/Sabon Birni 18 polling units Goronyo/Gada 74 polling units, Wurno/Rabah 53 polling units, Illela/Gwadabawa 14 polling units and Tangaza/Gudu 15 polling units respectively.

Towards ensuring adequate security during the polls, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the restriction of all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways and other forms of transportation from 12am to 5pm in all affected states, with the exception of those on essential services such as INEC officials, electoral observers, accredited media and observers, ambulances responding to medical emergencies and firefighters.

Similarly, the IGP reiterated the ban on all security aides to VIPs and escorts from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election.

Police spokesman, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, who made the disclosure, noted that state-established and owned security outfits/organisations, quasi-security units and privately-owned guard and security outfits are also barred from participating in election security management.

The affected states comprise Adamawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Imo, Kano, Kogi, Oyo, Rivers, Taraba, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Kaduna, Niger, Ogun, Yobe, Katsina and Enugu States.

“The Inspector General of Police, therefore, urges all citizens to be law abiding during and after the elections even as he assures that all necessary security arrangements have been emplaced to ensure they exercise their franchise unhindered.

“He also urges the general public to contact the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters via 08033440189 (DIG Operations), 08033027731 (AIG FEDOPS) and 08034040439 (CP Elections); the ‘NPF Rescue Me App’ on Android and ios, and via the NPF Rescue Me Emergency Toll-free line on 08031230631 to request emergency security response.
“Similarly, other election situation room numbers, which have been shared on Nigeria Police social media platforms, will be repeatedly released by concerned State Police Commands for necessary emergency contact.” Adejobi said.

The IGP also approved the deployment of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police and three other senior officers to oversee the supplementary elections in Kano.

Addressing journalists at the Police Headquarters in Kano ahead of the poll, leader of the delegation and Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Ibrahim Sani Kaola, said the IGP also approved the deployment of 2,000 men to man the 203 polling units across the 15 constituencies.

Kaola, who declared that there would be an onslaught against perpetrators of political violence during the supplementary polls, insisted that the police would remain neutral while enabling level playing ground during the polls.

Meanwhile, to checkmate vote buying in the elections, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that it deployed 100-armed operatives to combat vote buying in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa during Saturday’s supplementary elections in the states.

The Kano Zonal Commander of EFCC, Mr. Farouk Dogondaji, disclosed this yesterday in Kano.

“We have deployed 20 personnel to monitor the conduct of the state Assembly elections in Kafur, Kankara in Katsina State,” he said, assuring that adequate personnel were also deployed to monitor the exercise in Tudun Wada/Doguwa, and Takai federal constituency, as well as some State Assembly elections in Kano State.

Dogondaji said other personnel were also deployed for house of Assembly elections in Katsina and Jigawa to prevent vote buying.

“We have also deployed officers to Malam Aminu Kano International airport in Kano and the metropolis to monitor the exercise.

“We will be visible in all the polling units in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa to carefully monitor the entire exercise during and after the elections.

“We will be physically present at collation centres to prevent tempering with results from the Local Government Areas to the state.

“We are carefully monitoring the entire exercise along with state security agencies, towards providing peaceful atmosphere for eligible voters to elect their leaders,” he said.

He said the deployment was part of the commission’s commitment towards ensuring credible and transparent elections in the zone.

The commander, who said EFCC had also adopted measures that would make it difficult for any person or group tamper with results of the elections, called on the personnel to be thorough and professional in carrying out the national assignment.

“Our presence is to add value to the electoral process by preventing vote buying and change of results at collation centres,” he said.

He advised parents not to allow their children to be used as political thugs, as anyone found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.


Meanwhile, the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has urged the candidates in the elections to shun violence and be peaceful.

In a statement yesterday he personally signed, Tinubu urged his party members and supporters to vote overwhelmingly for APC to complement and solidify the victory the party recorded in the earlier polls.

The statement read: “As the Independent National Electoral Commission holds Supplementary Elections across the country tomorrow, I call on Nigerians in the areas slated for the polls to conduct themselves peacefully and eschew violence and any act prejudicial to orderly electoral processes.

“INEC will conduct supplementary Governorship Elections in Adamawa and Kebbi states, five Senatorial Districts, and 31 Federal and 58 State Assembly constituencies across the federation tomorrow.”

“This supplementary election is as important as the first set of elections, the Presidential and National Assembly poll held on February 25 and the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly election organised on March 18.

“As the last leg of the 2023 general election, we must ensure that the electoral processes are brought to a final, peaceful conclusion. I urge all Nigerians in areas where the additional polls will take place to eschew violence and conduct themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner.

“We should desist from acts prejudicial to the conduct of orderly polls or that will threaten the very existence of the country. It’s only when there is a country that aspirants to political offices can have seats to contest for and the electorate have people seeking their votes.

“Like the INEC officers, the candidates and the electorate, therefore, have a solemn responsibility in this election. They must ensure that the additional polls are conducted not only freely and fairly, but also devoid of tension, acrimony and violence that will threaten the very fabric that hold the country together.

“I must also use this opportunity to enjoin my APC members and the teeming supporters in the areas listed for the polls to come out in their large numbers to cast their votes for the party’s candidates.

“Our party members and supporters should vote overwhelmingly for APC to complement and solidify the victory we recorded in the earlier polls. This will no doubt help in the effective functioning of government at the federal and state levels for the benefit of our people.

“On this note, I wish INEC, all voters in the various polling units in these elections, the candidates and parties involved a very successful supplementary poll.”

On his part, the Chairman of the Governorship Publicity Committee of the All Progressives Congress in Kebbi State, Alhaji Kabiru Sani Giant, has applauded the efforts of the electoral umpire and security personnel for the elections.

Giant, who predicted that the candidate of the party would win, noted: “You know we are leading with over 45,000 vote difference and inshallah, we are going to win this supplementary election.”

In Kano State, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has called for suspension of the supplementary polls, especially across the 33 poling units of Doguwa/Tudun-Wada federal constituency of the state.

Speaking after submitting a protest letter to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Amb. Abdul Zango, the state chairman of the party, Haruna Umar Doguwa, said the call for the suspension of supplementary poll in Doguwa Federal Constituency was born out of the killing of innocent residents and members of his party during the February 18 election.

He lamented that despite the agony inflicted on NNPP members, the prosecution of the alleged culprit and Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, has been dogged by interested parties.

The Governor-elect of the state, Abba Kabiru Yusuf, on his part, accused the incumbent of withdrawing local council funds to compromise the supplementary polls.

In statement by his spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin-Tofa, Yusuf cautioned the council chairmen to prepare to account for the public funds at the appointed time.

But in a swift reaction, however, the state secretary of the APC, Ibrahim Zakari Sarina, debunked the allegation, describing it as unfounded.

He said the NNPP was only suffering from defeat syndrome, wondering why they would not seek redress through legal means.