Binani being witch-hunted, victimised because she’s a woman – Campaign Council
Vrati Nzonzo, the Coordinator of the Binani Campaign Council of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Aishatu ‘Binani’ Dahiru, has alleged that it is because she (Binani) is a woman hence the reason for her witch-hunting and victimization.
Nzonzo made this claim in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday.
He said, “As far as we are concerned, there seems to be a very biased position taken against our candidate. And it’s unfortunate.
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“As far as we are concerned, she is being witchhunted, and she is being drown using the media and other individuals that are out there to victimise her, may be because she is a woman. We are proud of her and her achievement.
“Mr Hudu has already made it clear to the best of my knowledge that considering the circumstances he found himself at that moment, he had to take the responsibility and act.”
Meanwhile, the Coordinator also claimed that the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa Ari declared Binani as “winner” of the governorship election in the state because the Returning Officer, Mohammed Mele “disappeared” when collation resumed on April 16, 2023.
“The Returning Officer disappeared,” Nzonzo said while defending the action of Ari, who assumed the constitutional role of the returning officer.
“As far as I am concerned, they’ve been there all along, may be through the night,” he added.
Nzonzo, who said Binani is being “victimised” because she is a woman, added that the courts will decide the matter.
It will recalled that the collation of the April 15, 2023 supplementary election in the North-East state was postponed to 11am the following day, however Ari resumed collation around 9am without the collation officer who was legally mandated with such duty.
Binani was declared as the “winner” of the poll by the REC while collation of results was yet to be completed.
INEC subsequently nullified the declaration by Ari, suspended collation of results and barred him from office. The electoral body relied on Section 25 (2)(f) of the Electoral Act 2022 to take its decision. The section provided that “the returning officer shall announce the result and declare the winner of the election at State Collation Centre in the case of election of a Governor of a state”.
INEC would later resume collation on April 18, and at the end of the entire exercise, said the incumbent, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who is also the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 430,861 votes, to defeat Binani who got 398,738 votes. INEC also declared Fintiri as the winner of the keenly contested and dramatic poll.
Speaiking on Ari’s action, Nzonzo said, “It is not wrong. On the premise that he doesn’t want to allow a vacuum in the state, results must be announced.”
“As far as I am concerned, it’s okay. If Mr Hudu announced the election as inconclusive, why won’t he announce the winner of the election?
“When he announced the first election as inconclusive, nobody said anything. Mr Festus Okoye was not on national television to condemn it but when on the second turn, he announced distinguished Senator Aishatu Binani as the winner of the election, all hell let loose.”