A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) have while describing the unlawful declaration of Senator Aishatu Binani as Adamawa Governor-elect, called for the immediate arrest of the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Ari as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the polls.
The coalition expressed this in a statement issued to newsmen in Kaduna on Monday April 17, 2023, jointly signed by Mada Ibrahim and Michael Ayuba James.
“In the face of the glaring coup d’etat against democracy by Sen. Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani, Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), State commissioner of police, Director State Security and his counterpart of National Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) we the concerned civil society organizations (CSOs) do hereby urge president Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency directed the arrest of the mentioned anti democratic forces for treason and constitutional mischief,” the coalition demanded.
According to the text of the statement titled, “Call for the immediate arrest of Binani, Adamawa REC, Commissioner of Police, Director DSS, and NSCDC commandant for staging coup against democracy” the coalition said that as a full blown democrat, this call has become incumbent on President Muhammadu Buhari in order to save Nigeria’s democracy from being supplanted by desperate conspirators for their self serving and whimsical proclivities.
“Democracy especially in Adamawa State will continue to be under serious threats if the mentioned elements are not duly prosecuted in line with Nigeria’s extant rules for treason.
“These elements have made Nigeria a laughing stock in the committee of nations for their effrontery to hold democracy hostage in furtherance of their primitive lust for power or personal aggrandizement.
“The president whom we know for his towering credentials and integrity should not allow some few individuals to truncate our hard earned democracy because doing that is archetypal to allowing them to rubbish all his efforts at ensuring a credible electioneering process at the twilight of his exit from power.
“In this respect we want to acknowledge the decisive role played by the headquarters of INEC which wielded the big stick against their erring REC by calling off his bluff and maintained the narrow path of honor and truth,” they said.
They urged INEC to as a matter of urgency, order the arrest and prosecution of the REC to serve as deterrent to others and to also assert that the electoral umpire is truly independent.
“The morbid fascination of these dubious elements has nearly robbed Adamawa State of its peace and tranquility yesterday saved for the maturity of the people who are known for their tact, and resilience even in the face of blatant and unnecessary provocation and intimidation.
“We must acknowledge the superlative show of maturity displayed by our amiable governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri for his calculated restraint and resilient in the face of the day light armed robbery hoisted by these charlatans and undemocratic forces to take his leadership through the back door.
“Such show of resilience is the reason why Adamawa State has remained calm up till this moment. What do you think would have happened to Adamawa State had governor Fintiri also displayed an insane desperation and lust for power as the others?
“Following the ugly incident of yesterday in Adamawa State where the Resident Electoral Commissioner usurped the responsibility of the returning officer, we are constraints to call on Mr. President to constitute a full blown inquest into the sordid happening with a view to prevent future ugly occurrences.
“For the sake of emphasis, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Ari walked into INEC collation Centre on the 16 of March and declared the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Aisha Binani winner of the Adamawa Supplementary polls even when collation of results have not concluded,” they submitted.
The coalition said that according to Nigeria’s electoral law, the REC, Hudu Ari, has no power to announce the winner of the election.
“That responsibility solely lies with the state collation officer appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“In view of these and other facts at our disposal, we are calling for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of Mr. Hudu Ari and his conspirators. We want the the security agencies to investigate all those involved in the black Sunday Saga.
“We note with concern how a Senior lawmaker Senator Aishatu Binani choose to ignore all the illegality shrouded in declaring her Governor- Elect and choose to give an acceptance speech.
“The speed at which the speech was read immediately after the illegal declaration shows that the whole sordid act of rascality was premeditated and perfected amongst the conspirators of doom.
“We hereby call for her immediate arrest and questioning in order to ascertain what actually transpired.
“Aishatu Binani should be questioned for giving an acceptance speech after being declared Governor Elect illegally,” they stressed.
Furthermore, they pointed out that in a viral video, it was speculated that N2 billion was disbursed in order to facilitate the announcement of the APC Gubernatorial Candidate as Governor Elect, this claim must be investigated as well .
They also demanded that the APC chairman in the state, and the governorship candidate of APC should be questioned in respect of the alleged N2 billion that was disbursed in order to change the electoral will of Adamawa people.
“Similarly, by giving acceptance speech, Binani has participated in an attempt albeit illegally to remove a sitting Governor, she should therefore be disqualified from participating in any future polls.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police, the Commandant of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corp and the Department For State Security to launch a probe into why senior officers from these security agencies accompany Mr. Ari Hudu to INEC centre where he illegally made the announcement.
“In the same vein, we are aware that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission deployed to the state have displayed gross incompetence, partiality and favoritism all geared towards suppressing the wishes of Adamawa voters in order to make Binani the Governor of Adamawa State by hook or by crook.
“These inordinate schemes came to a head yesterday when the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu legally declared Binani Governor Elect .
“Therefore, we are calling on INEC to redeploy it’s officials from the state and to bring in new ones.
“Furthermore, we are in the know that Governor Umaru Fintiri actually won the elections ab initio and that APC, Binani and others connived to foist the supplementary polls on us, in view of these, we are calling on INEC to declare Umar Fintiri as the Governor Elect of the state immediately.”