Governor Ahmadu Fintiri has been declared winner of the keenly contested Adamawa state governorship elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The incumbent governor, who ran under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), polled 430,861 votes to Senator Aishatu Binani’s 396,788.
Fintiri won by over 34,000 votes.
Many hoped Senator Binani, who received strong support from President Buhari, would become Nigeria’s first elected female governor. But that did not come to be.
The Governorship election held on March 18 but was declared inconclusive. A supplementary poll was subsequently conducted on April 15.
The process ran relatively smoothly but plunged into chaos. Hours before collation was set to resume, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) illegally declared Senator Dahiru, popularly known as Binani, winner. The move sparked widespread outrage across the country, given that a State REC does not have the authority to declare election results.
In Yola, Adamawa’s capital, there were protests demanding the prosecution of the rogue REC and the resumption of the collation process.
INEC’s national headquarters moved swiftly, voiding the declaration and suspending the count.
The Adamawa election has been one of the most keenly contested of Nigeria’s 2023 polls, with both the PDP and APC accusing each other of vote tampering.