Adamawa 2023: Hudu-nisation of Binani’s Desperation



At the close of the first Ballot where INEC declared the Adamawa state governorship election inconclusive, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri was already leading his closest challenger, Aishatu Dahiru aka Binani of the APC with over 31 thousand votes. The total voting strength of the polling units marked for rerun comes up to a little above 37 thousand. However, since previous elections in this round had witnessed something close to a 40% turnout, which by implication, means that only about 40% of 37 thousand voters are expected to turn out for the rerun, experts had dismissed the rerun election as an academic exercise ab initio.
The conclusion is that, however deep Binani’s political machinery may be, she can’t possibly score all the votes expected in the rerun even if all 37 thousand voters came out to vote. This is for the simple reason that Fintiri is the incumbent governor. Armed with these facts, Nigerians had foreclosed the Adamawa rerun as a walk over. Not even Binani herself could have entertained any hope of pulling this one out of the fire, not legally anyway. But could we have underestimated the extent of the woman’s desperation?
As far as I’m concerned, only desperation could have pushed anyone to set in motion the chain of events which like a badly written movie script, played out at the Adamawa state governorship collation centre. Without any serious warning, things took a very dramatic turn when the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, a certain Barr Hudu Yunusa-Ari took it upon himself to declare Binani winner of the election even when results from some polling units were yet to be collated. Many simply dismissed the purported declaration as fake news until Binani was pictured giving a victory speech shortly after. I believe it was at this point that the fact that the woman was out to be governor by all means finally hit Nigerians. Thankfully, her purported victory speech was soon rubbished by a very proactive INEC HQ press statement distancing itself from the so called declaration, before dismissing it as null, void and of no consequence. INEC it is said relied on the Electoral Act as amended which only empowered the Returning Officer, usually an academic to make declarations/electoral returns. In this case however, the Returning Officer was nowhere near the collation center when Barr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari made himself very popular by attempting to recreate history, imitating the sad days of Maurice Iwu’s INEC.
By this time, the interest of Nigerians had been peaked. Everyone seems all caught up with the Adamawa debacle as social media became awash with the unfolding drama. In the midst of this confusion, an INEC staffer was mobbed in a case of mistaken identity. An operative of the DSS who was said to have also been mobbed allegedly confessed that the entire declaration was a two billion Naira scheme. Needless to say the scheme had the buy-in of security agencies as police men were seen trying to restrain a visibly stunned Fintiri from preventing Barr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari from exiting the collation centre after that dubious declaration. Any doubt as to the culpability of the police in the scheme may have been put to rest with the recent suspension of the Adamawa state Police Commissioner by the Inspector General of Police. The last may not have been heard of this CP I’m sure.
You will think this whole sad affair will humble Binani and make her remorseful if only for her part in a desperate attempt to subvert the will of the people? Not so. This is because, as Nigerians were waiting for the meeting of RECs to get underway in Abuja where a decision was to be reached on how to proceed with Adamawa, Binani added a new twist to the tale as news of the suit she had instituted at the federal High Court in Abuja to restrain INEC, Fintiri and PDP from rendering her declaration null and void hit the airwaves. Thankfully, in about the same time that INEC was dispatching Professor Mohammed Mele back to Adamawa to conclude collation and make a return, the High Court in Abuja was refusing Binani’s sinister and very strange request. Specifically, Justice Inyang Ekwo requested Binani’s counsel to return on 26th of April to explain to him the point of law and ascertain the High Court’s jurisdictions on the matter.
Meanwhile, INEC had suspended and barred Barr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari from its offices nationwide while requesting police authorities to investigate and possibly arrest him for attempting to deliberately plunge the nation into a constitution crisis and public unrest. INEC also requested the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha to alert the appointing authority to Barr. Hudu’s conduct. When collation resume at about 3:30 PM in Adamawa with the eyes of Nigerians now permanently fixed on their screens, the expected happened as Professor Mele having concluded collation, declared Fintiri winner of the rerun and overall winner of the governorship election in the state after scoring 430,861 votes to beat the rival All Progressives Congress candidate, Aisha Dahiru, popularly known as Binani, who amassed 398,788 votes.
Looking back now, there have always been tell-tale signs of Binani’s desperation. Whereas we dismissed it as her passion to govern, events of the last few days confirm otherwise. The woman has always been desperate for the governorship seat of Adamawa. She has been fantasizing about becoming the first female governor in Nigeria as shown in her hurriedly cooked victory speech. Beginning from their strategy of fake news while relying on social media collation officers to declare her winner, to Senator Binta Masi’s sensational claims of conspiracy against Binani on live national TV, and now allegedly corrupting an INEC official to the tone of 2 Billion Naira to illegally declare her winner of an election that was still ongoing. Aisha Binani working with the likes of Hudu were willing to subvert democracy for their selfish gains. They showed that they were more than willing to damn the consequences by stealing the mandate that the people of Adamawa freely gave to Fintiri. They told Nigerians just what to expect from people like them who have enjoyed unmerited public goodwill that they are ingrates who could go to any length to take whatever they want regardless of consequences.
It is left to be seen whether police authorities will do the needful by rounding up the erstwhile Adamawa REC. Although many Nigerians have a pretty good idea of what may have pushed him into usurping the powers of the Returning officer in the manner that he did. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to know what really motivated him into doing what he did, specifically Binani’s role in this motivation. Nigerians will also be waiting keenly to see what the appointing authority will do this Barr. Hudu Yunusa-Ari. But until then, the proactive actions of INEC may have rescued its image and that of Nigeria from eternal damnation.

…Kera writes from Kaduna

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