Echoes from Adamawa elections | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Echoes from Adamawa elections

Posted: Apr 3, 2015 at 1:46 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Clement Ekong / Special Correspondent, Yola


The 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections in Adamawa state witnessed peaceful and massive turn out of voters despite the ban on vehicular movement. As it turned out, the state was a focus of attention on account of the prominence of its foremost politicians in national politics.

Our correspondent who visited most of the polling centres reported that as early as 8:00am, voters had queued even before the arrival of Independent National Electorate Commission (INEC) officials.

Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

In all the centres visited, the use of card readers were in perfect condition except in few places in which the readers rejected the fingers but were quickly ratified or voters accredited. Similarly, security agencies were on patrol, especially at strategic and black spots in the state capital to check any breakdown of law and order. Because of restriction on movement by vehicles, prospective voters were seen trekking some kilometers to their various polling units to exercise their civic responsibilities.

Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, and the immediate past national chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, were at the Ajiya ward unit “where the two elder statesmen cast their votes at about 1:20pm and 1:45pm respectively in the state capital.

The State Governor, Bala James Ngillari, also cast his vote at the internally Displaced Persons camp voting centre at Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, while the Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Boni Haruna, joined his kinsmen from Michika to vote at General Murtala Mohammed College, Yola.

Meanwhile, unofficial sports reports from the different polling units from Michika, Madagali, Mubi North and South Senatorial zone indicates that Governor Bala Ngillari has failed the senatorial elections as his rival, Mrs. Binta Mazi, even with alleged financial inducement as APC candidates clinches both the Presidential and National Assembly positions.

Dr. Idi Hong of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was also beaten in the poll by the APC candidate in his senatorial bid. Observers believed that Dr Idi Hong, as a former Minister of State for External Affairs, never impacted on the lives of the People in the area rather he was accused of building a hospital in Kano state when none exist in his local government.

Security at the General Murtala Mohammed College where all the collated results were released to the nation was tight to avoid any security breaches.

Among politicians who spoke with Daily Independent were former National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democrat Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur who counselled politicians across the nation to take the outcome of the Saturday Presidential and the National Assembly polls in good faith.

The PDP BOT member who spoke to reporters in his Yola residence shortly after he voted at Ajiya unit 012 said that majority of the candidates fielded by the PDP may face resistance from the electorate due to imposition.

Alhaji Tukur said that the elections should not be regarded as do or die affair, stressing that there was no need for politicians to fight, but that they should come together as a family.

“We should not fight; let us have peaceful election. It should not be do or die affairs, as politics is a game,” he said.

He explained that when he was the national chairman of PDP he had told his party over time to avoid issues of imposition and allow people’s voice to count.

He said: “I have been preaching the doctrine of fair play in affairs of the PDP, my position on imposition and internal democracy has been crystal clear. Some people say selection, I say no internal democracy. Some people say imposition I say no I say we must allow freedom of choice,” he said.

Tukur equally lamented that the failure of the party to allow the interest of the common man to prevail in the scheme of things led to the recent disenchantment the party is facing. Tukur however commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for introducing card readers to checkmate any electoral fraud, adding that in modern world the place of ICT is not contestable.

“The present world is a world of ICT, if you want to capture the world, today, you must be literate in ICT knowledge. It is good it was done in other places. It was done in Ghana, it was done in Sierra Leone and it was also done in Kenya,” he said.

Tukur said that human beings always resist changes saying that the antagonism against the card readers is understandable, “it cannot immediately satisfy everybody but with training, it can be corrected.”