Danjuma Aliyu, Yola
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) erred in declaring the governorship election in Adamawa State inconclusive because the margin of lead was lower than the number of registered voters in places where voting was cancelled.
The state chapter of the party contended at a press briefing in Yola on Tuesday that INEC should have reckoned not with all the registered voters but only the number of those who collected their permanent voter cards (PVCs) in the indicated units, which it said was smaller than the margin of lead in the election.
The PDP had polled 367,472 votes as against the next leading party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which received 334,995 votes after results from the state’s 21 LGAs had been collated by Monday morning, but INEC declared the election inconclusive on the argument that the margin of lead by the PDP, which was 32,467 votes, was lower than the number of registered voters, 40,948 in 44 polling units (PUs) where elections either did not hold or were cancelled.
The PDP, however, said in the text of briefing read to newsmen by a former governor of the state under the party, Boni Haruna, that INEC’s argument was untenable.
The PDP said: “We’ve been able to establish that the number of PVCs collected by voters in the 44 PUs is 31,027. So, 31,027 are the only eligible voters in those units. If there is going to be a rerun, the 31,027 people who collected their PVCs are less than PDP’s margin of win.
How then would the rerun affect the leading position of the PDP? So, there was no basis in declaring the Adamawa State governorship election inconclusive.”
The party said it rejected declaration of the election as inconclusive and demanded that INEC rescind its decision and declare the PDP candidate, Rt Hon Umaru Fintiri, as the winner.
It asked that if INEC would insist on a rerun, it should provide the number of PVCs collected in each of the 44 PUs and number of voters accredited in the units for the March 9 governorship election; and should ensure that all electoral materials for the rerun are distributed in a transparent manner.
In its own reaction to the outcome of the governorship election in Adamawa State, the APC had on Monday alleged widespread irregularities and called for a redress.
“As a party, we reject the results of the governorship election in Adamawa State in its totality and we call for the cancellation of all … places where card readers were not used, and where there was over-voting,” the party said at a briefing in Yola.