INEC assured on Saturday that it will hold a credible supplementary governorship election in Adamawa State that will be the pride of Nigerians and the international community.
The INEC Commissioner for Voter Information and Education, Festus Okoye, gave the assurance in Abuja as some women staged a protest at the Commission headquarters over the Adamawa election.
The protesters were led by the President, National Council of Women Community (NCWS), Lami Lau.
INEC had earlier in the week declared the March 18 governorship election in Adamawa as inconclusive.
The final results tallied by the commission in the election showed that the governor of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got the highest number of votes.
The Commission, however, announced that the votes that were canceled in the election were more than the margin of victory between Mr. Fintiri and the runner-up, Aishatu Ahmed (Binani) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said a new date would be set for the re-election in the areas where the exercise was not conducted on March 18.
Mr. Okoye thanked the women for their peaceful conduct, noting that the commission belongs to all Nigerians.
“We consider our role in INEC as a public trust; any individual, group or organization with a grievance or complaint is free to come here and voice or ventilate their grievances.
“The people of Adamawa are the only ones who have the right to elect the governor; we in the commission and Nigerians from other countries do not have a vote in Adamawa.
“Every individual who is not from Adamawa and who does not live in the state has no vote in the state.
“Only the people of the country will decide who will be the next governor,” Mr. Okoye told the protesters.
He explained that KPU’s responsibility as an election organizing body is to provide a platform for citizens to exercise their franchise.
He added that while the commission provided the platform, the election was declared inconclusive.
“We will come back and give the people of the country a chance to come to a conclusion about the governorship election.
“The commission will return to Adamawa and conduct a by-election that will make Nigerians and the international community proud,” Okoye said.
The INEC commissioner noted that it does not belong to any political party and does not support any political candidate or individual.
He reiterated that the faith of Adamawa will only be determined by the people of the country.
He insisted that Nigerians who did not register to vote in Adamawa and who did not vote in the state had no right to determine who would be the next governor.
In her earlier remarks, Mrs Lau, the leader of the protesters, commended INEC for upholding integrity in Abia and Enugu states by ensuring that the right thing is done.
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“In this regard, Nigerian women are demanding the verification of the results of the Adamawa governorship election as they did in Abia and Enugu,” he said.
He appealed to INEC to release the Adamawa governorship election results of Mrs Ahmed.
He added that Nigerian women have vowed not to rest until their mandate is secured.
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