The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tuesday, called for the immediate removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Adamawa state.
The party said in Abuja that the removal has become necessary to ensure an unbiased conclusion of the governorship election in the State.
In a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, PDP said that the incumbent REC could no longer be trusted to remain unbiased in the election.
The statement reads: “The @OfficialPDPNig invites you again this afternoon to draw the attention of Nigerians and the International Community to the conduct of @inecnigeria with respect to the forthcoming Governorship re-run election in Adamawa State.
“From credible information available to our Party, INEC is stoking a breakdown of law and order in Adamawa State with the continued stay in office of Mallam Hudu Yunusa Ari as Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) despite his alleged complicity in the plots to manipulate the outcome of the Governorship election in the State, even with PDP’s clear lead of 31,299 lawful votes in the election.
“It is provocative and unacceptable that INEC retained Mallam Yunusa Ari to conduct the April 15, 2023 governorship re-run election despite being reportedly caught on tape directing the Electoral Officer of Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State in Hausa Language to alter election results in favour of the defeated governorship candidate of the @OfficialAPCNg Senator Aisha Binani.
“The continued stay in office of Mallam Yunusa Ari in the face of widespread outcry by the people of Adamawa State amounts to pushing the people to the wall and daring them to do their worst.
“The PDP dismisses the lame denial of the leaked audio tape by the exposed INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner. The basis for recusal by an umpire is the accusation of a likelihood of bias. In this case, apart from the accusation, there is audio evidence against Mallam Yunusa Ari, and he cannot, by any standard, superintend over the Adamawa Governorship re-run election without widespread suspicion of his actions.
“The situation around the embattled INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner is worsened by allegations of similar instructions to Electoral Officers in some other Local Government Areas of the State to manipulate the election results.
“In view of these grave allegations and evidence of the audio tape already in the public domain, Mallam Yunusa Ari should immediately recuse himself from superintending and/or conducting the re-run governorship election in Adamawa State on April 15, 2023.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that INEC relieved the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Sokoto State, Dr Nura Ali, over allegations of irregularities in the conduct of the just concluded elections in that State. There is, therefore, no justification for the continuing stay of Mallam Yunusa Ari as Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State in the face of these grave allegations except for sinister reasons.
“Nigerians can recall that the Adamawa State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner was also accused of being at the centre of the failed attempt to move the collation of results of the Adamawa State Governorship election from Yola to Abuja to enable the INEC Returning Officer declare the defeated APC candidate as winner; a move that the people of Adamawa State firmly resisted.
“The PDP cautions that the people of Adamawa State will never surrender their mandate to these reprehensible plots to manipulate the outcome of the re-run governorship election in the State.
“The continued stay of Mallam Yunusa Ari as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State is heightening tension and capable of disrupting the peace for which the State is known.
“Mallam Yunusa Ari has clearly become partisan; he has descended into the arena by allegedly taking sides with the APC, a political party in the contest, to the extent of directing Electoral Officers to manipulate election results in favour of the APC candidate. @OfficialPDPNig demands that the @inecnigeria Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, immediately remove Mallam Yunusa Ari as Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State.
“On our part, the PDP restates that it is firmly on ground in Adamawa State. Our Party and Candidate, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, are in clear lead. We are ready for the re-run election in the 69 Polling Units already announced by the INEC Returning Officer.
“The PDP once again calls on the people of Adamawa State, our teeming members and supporters, to remain calm but very vigilant in resisting the APC and its candidate who are desperate to steal the Adamawa State Governorship mandate for their parochial interests against the Will of the people.”