Governor Murtala Nyako
Ripples of the November 24 local government election in Adamawa State continued Wednesday with the former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Ardo, describing the inauguration of the elected local government chairmen as illegal.
PDP swept all the local government areas during the election but the list of candidates submitted by Governor Murtala Nyako to the state Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC), has continued to generate heat in the state.
In an interview with journalists on the conduct of the election, Ardo, who contested for the PDP governorship ticket with Nyako, said the governor breached the Electoral Law by swearing-in the local government chairmen before ADSIEC announced the winners of the election.
He said the state Electoral Law made provision for the elected officers to be sworn two weeks after the ADSIEC had announced the result but the governor rushed to inaugurate the local government chairmen before the result was announced probably to preempt any move to challenge the result.
“One of the most serious absurdities that I have never seen in politics in Nigeria happened in Adamawa State. The law says that candidates or political parties that are not satisfied with the outcome of any election should go to the tribunal. They gave number of days, like the local government, the electoral law in Adamawa State gave 14 days after declaration of results, but do you know in Adamawa, based on this local government election, there was no formal declaration of result by ADSIEC when Nyako swore in the chairmen?
“You may not believe it and that is the truth. The ADSIEC did not declared result, did not declared winners, did not give certificate of return. By 7:30 a.m. after the election, Nyako went and swore in all the local government chairmen.
“The fear was that let people like the Ardo and others not go to court in the afternoon and get injunction restraining them from swearing them in, so the ADSIEC was left with the result in its mouth. They have already sworn them in, so it was only last Monday, one week after they were swore in that the that results were declared.”
According to the him, one week after the local government chairmen were inaugurated by the governor, they themselves went to their local governments and inaugurated their councillors and took more steps to consolidate their stay in office by appointing supervising councilors before the SIEC announced the result of the election.
“What kind of absurdity is that? That is what is going on in the state and therefore a government that can do this can do anything. The most painful aspect of it is that the key power block seems to be supporting it,” he said.
He appealed to the national leadership of the PDP to step into the controversy to save the reputation of the party.
“The national secretariat cannot support this. If they accept it then they have betrayed the oath of their office because they took oath that they are going to follow the norm and the constitution of the party and the constitution of Nigeria, but nobody is doing that and how can you tell me that we will sit down in peace? There will never be any peace, the only way to get peace is to go by the law.”