Atedo Peterside, president of the ANAP Foundation, has weighed in on the controversy trailing the Adamawa state governorship election.
Hudu Yunusa-Ari, the Adamawa resident electoral commissioner, had caused a ruckus by declaring Aisha ‘Binani’ Dahiru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the election while results collation was still ongoing.
According to the Electoral Act, the returning officer for the governorship election is the official empowered to declare a winner.
Speaking in a chat with Arise TV on Monday, Peterside said the action of the REC is a representation of “impunity” by the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Although INEC has scrapped the declaration made by the REC, the development has continued to elicit criticism from stakeholders across the country.
Adding his voice to the fray, Peterside described the situation in Adamawa as “embarrassing” but added that the punishment for the REC must also be extended to INEC workers on duty during the February 25 presidential election.
“If you have gone to the INEC IREV to see what happened in the presidential election in some states, there was impunity there,” the ANAP Foundation founder.
“And there is impunity here. We have to get serious in this country about whether to tackle all issues of impunity or just tackle them in Adamawa state. What is the difference?
“I agree that what happened in Adamawa was particularly embarrassing, but perhaps he took a cue from those at the centre, who handled the presidential elections.
“In some states, they refused to upload the results, why would states be having elections in different manners? We have to go back and hold people accountable. everybody should be held accountable, not just in Adamawa.”
On Monday, INEC directed Yunisa-Ari to “stay away” from the commission’s office in the state.