*Atiku drums support for Adamawa governor, Fintiri, party
*PDP, APC supporters demand credible polls in Adamawa
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, yesterday, ordered adequate deployment of supporting personnel and additional logistics for effective election security management during the forthcoming supplementary elections scheduled for Saturday, April 15. The polls will hold in specific areas across 24 states.
In Adamawa State, the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, Atiku Abubakar, implored the electorate in all the places where the supplementary elections would take place in the state to come out in large numbers and cast their ballot for PDP.
Atiku canvassed support for the state governor, Umaru Fintiri, who will be fighting a by-election to determine whether he would have a second term following the declaration of the March 18 governorship election in the state inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
At the same time, supporters of the two major political parties – PDP and All Progressives Congress (APC) – asked INEC to conduct a credible rerun in Adamawa State.
The supplementary elections are scheduled to hold in 2,660 polling units and 185 local government areas across 24 states.
A statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), said the additional support included the deployment of personnel, operational vehicles, non-lethal weapons, personal protective equipment (body armor), and anti-riot equipment.
Adejobi said the IG had also directed all supervising senior police officers in charge of jurisdictions, where the supplementary elections would be held, particularly, the supplementary governorship elections in Adamawa and Kebbi states, to ensure the emplacement of adequate manpower and other resources for effective policing of the electoral process.
He urged the electorate in the affected states to come out en masse to exercise their franchise and be law-abiding while maintaining peace and orderliness. He assured them that the police were poised to ensure the emplacement of a proper security arrangement for the supplementary polls to ensure that the elections were conducted in a peaceful and secure environment.
Atiku, in a press release by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, called on voters at polling units where elections would take place in Adamawa and Kebbi states to ensure that the process of electing PDP governors and federal and state lawmakers was completed in a peaceful manner.
Atku was quoted as saying, “In both Adamawa and Kebbi where supplementary elections shall be held on Saturday, I wish to make a special appeal to the voters in the respective polling units, where elections shall be taking place, to make sure that the PDP enjoys overwhelming support through their votes.
“It is an established fact that the APC has failed the people of this country and, especially, in Kebbi State, the more reason it is incumbent on the electorate to vote them out and return the PDP.”
Atiku spoke in Yola, where he would be casting his vote on Saturday
The PDP leadership in the state, at press conference in Yola by Director General of the Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council of Fintiri, Awaal Tukur, explained that it was a good outing that successfully elected Governor Ahmadu Fintiri with clear margin of over 31,000 votes ahead of the APC candidate. Tukur added that the votes were credible enough to have declared Fintiri governor-elect.
Unfortunately, he said, INEC declared the elections inconclusive with reruns to be held in some wards and 69 units of the state.
Tukur stated, “Despite the fact that the election of the governor was inconclusive and many attempts were made by the APC and some partisan electoral officers to steal our mandate, the people of Adamawa State and members of our great party, PDP, remained calm and composed.
“I make bold to state that while we call for calm engagement and participation of the people and citizens of the state, let us again get to prove to the world that APC did not and cannot win this rerun by popular voting. That is also to sound a word of caution that the PDP will not in anyway fold its arms and allow rigging and any violent procedure to undermine the people’s votes and mandate.”
Meanwhile, APC carried out a peaceful protest to the INEC office in Yola to demand credible polls.
The APC protesters were led by Supreme Leader of Natives National Movement of Nigeria, who called on the Adamawa Electoral Resident Commissioner not to be intimated in the process of carrying out his constitutional obligation.
Speaking at the INEC office, Mr Smart Edward, frowned on the sentimental campaign against the APC governorship candidate, Aishatu Binani, by the opposition party. Binani called on all the tribes that made up the state to rally round APC to win the polls.