The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that recent primary elections conducted by different political parties in Adamawa State caused widespread complaints by aspirants, resulting in 396 court cases in which the commission has been joined.
The primaries, which took place between September and October, raised much dust, with most aspirants who lost out making multiple allegations, including a claim that in many instances, the purported primaries did not take place. This was particularly so in the big parties, especially the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Kassim Gaidam, who spoke on the court cases at an event at the state capital, Yola, said the primaries were indeed marked by irregularities, including non-adherence to electoral regulations and failure or otherwise of the organisers of the primaries to provide voters’ register.
The most keenly contested tickets in the rounds of primaries in Adamawa State were those of the governorship, the Senate and House of Representatives and they also produced the most dissents, especially in the bigger parties; in the APC for instance, where two governorship aspirants: Ahmed Mahmood (Modi) and Nuhu Ribadu allege that the winner, incumbent Governor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow, was a fraud as the said primary that produced him did not even take place.
The INEC resident commissioner, who made no direct reference in his recall of the September-October rounds of primaries in the state, advised politicians to play the game by the rule during the 2019 general elections to minimize dissents and avoid violence.
Gaidam, who was the chief organiser at a peace accord signing ceremony in Yola Thursday where governorship candidates of 29 political parties were invited to commit themselves to peaceful conduct before, during and after the 2019 elections, said, “Election campaigns across the state have been peaceful so far. You will do the polity a further goodwill by continuing in that trend.”