THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday ratified the electoral victory of Muritala Nyako on Saturday that returned him as the Governor of Adamawa State.
According to the returning officer of the polls, Prof. Hamisu Mohammed Hamisu, the Vice Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, the former governor polled a total of 302,952 votes to defeat the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Markus Gundiri, who scored 244,023 votes.
The returning officer said that Nyako won the polls based on the provisions of the Electoral Act 2011. .
However, protest and commendation have trailed the emergence of Nyako as the winner of the election.
The ACN contested the result, saying that the party would soon take a decision on the polls.
But the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, said that he would not contest the result of the election.
He pointed out that power belongs to God and that at the appropriate time, God would give the people of the state the leader that would rescue them from their oppressors.
The election result was widely protested in the state capital by workers and the supporters of the opposition party, alleging that the polls was rigged in favour of the ruling PDP.
There was disquiet in the capital when the former governor was declared winner of the polls. A total of 685,103 votes were cast with 26,850 rejected ballots. .
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday “heartily” congratulated Nyako for winning the election.
In a statement released by presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan urged Nyako “to receive the fresh mandate given to him by the people of Adamawa State for a second term in office as a call to further duty in the service of his people and an immense opportunity to carry forward the policies, projects and programmes initiated during his first term to promote progress and development in Adamawa State. .
“The President looks forward to continuing to work harmoniously with Admiral Nyako and the government of Adamawa State on the implementation of the Federal Government’s agenda for national transformation.”
Nyako, a former Chief of Naval Staff, was until 10 days ago when he was removed by the Supreme Court along with four other governors of Bayelsa, Kogi, Cross River and Sokoto states, a member of President Jonathan’s National Economic Management Team.
Jonathan also commended PDP National Executive Committee members, members of the state executive of the partyand all stakeholders of the party in Adamawa “for working very hard to ensure that Nyako won convincingly on Saturday.” .
The President also congratulated “the INEC and the nation’s security agencies for the peaceful and successful conduct of the elections. He urged them to keep up the good work in other governorship elections scheduled to hold in Bayelsa, Cross River and Sokoto states this month.”
The Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje on behalf of members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and the entire party congratulated Nyako on his victory.
He also lauded the INEC, the security agencies, election monitors and all those who contributed to the peaceful conduct of the elections.
On his part, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar urged all stakeholders in the Adamawa State PDP to unite behind the re-elected governor.
In a statement by his Media Office in Abuja, the former Vice President said with the election now concluded, all PDP members should work together as one family (just like they had done prior to the election) for the overall progress and development of the state. .
A coalition of election monitors and observers, Project Swift Count (PSC) yesterday commended the INEC for successfully conducting the Adamawa State governorship election.
However, the group felt that logistic challenges remained an issue that the commission needed to overcome. For instance, PSC believes that the INEC needs to improve on the delivery of election materials in future elections. But it acknowledged that the commission had significantly improved its observer accreditation process and it should continue this positive trend.
Giving its assessment of the election, PSC in a statement jointly signed by its co-chairmen, Dafe Akpedeye (SAN) and Moshood Erubami, said that voter turn-out was estimated at 36 per cent and this remained a concern in deepening the democratic process in Nigeria. .
The group said that the security personnel working with INEC again demonstrated their ability to positively contribute to democratic processes. But it urged that security agencies and forces should continue to support their personnel with additional training and education in advance of future electoral exercises.
The statement stressed the need for an urgent need for political parties and contestants to show maturity and respect for the voting process so as to forestall nefarious practices that would be debilitating to the democratic process.
But barely 48 hours after the national leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicked off its campaign for the February 11 governorship election of Bayelsa State, members of the House of Representatives from Bayelsa State have re-affirmed their support for the embattled former governor, Timipre Sylva. .
In an interview at the weekend, Henry Ofongo, representing Southern Ijaw, said that all Bayelsa Representatives were still very much in support of the erstwhile governor.
According to the lawmaker, the Bayelsa lawmakers will continue to support the former governor because what transpired in the state was an act of injustice. .
Ofongo said: “The January 11, 2011 primaries remain sacrosanct as we massively threw our weight behind Sylva for the governor. But what subsequently happened via the postponement of the election by the Appeal Court ruling changed a lot of things.
“Then, the incidence of the sudden disqualification of the governor is unconstitutional and we have stated our position to the party. .
“There is nowhere in the PDP constitution where the working committee will screen and disqualify candidates. I was the pioneer secretary of my local government of PDP and I repeat, it is not in our constitution.
“We are strong party loyalists but we will continue to stand on the path of justice and not until the Supreme Court decides the matter, we are still solidly behind the governor.”