By Mustapha Malabu
Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru, also known as Binani, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; representing Adamawa Central and the APC Governorship candidate in the state is certainly of a strong political class. She may eventually play a prominent role in the immediate next political dispensation. Though, INEC declared Adamawa state gubernatorial elections incconclusive, Binani may not win the race because the incumbent Governor Ahmadu Umar Fintiri, aside leading with over 31, 000 votes is upbeat of getting more vote in the rescheduled elections.. The concerned poling units are said to be his strong hold. A rerun between the duos is slated for Saturday, 15, April, 2023
Born on 11 August 1971, Binani was formerly a member of the House of Representatives representing Yola North/Yola South/Girei federal constituency as a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the 7th Assembly between 2011 and 2015.
Married to Professor Ahmed Modibbo, former Chairman of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Binani was alleged of anti-party activities leading to her defection to the APC in 2019 where she contested and won the Senate seat.
In 2022, she won the APC governorship ticket in Adamawa State by defeating six male candidates and political heavyweights including former Presidential candidate, Nuhu Ribadu. Although, a federal high court initially quashed her nomination, an appeal tribunal later reinstated her as a candidate. Nonetheless, the division created by her emergence as party members alleged manipulations of the primary elections, her campaign was backed by APC bigwigs.
During the electioneering, some Adamawa APC members alleged Binani of marginalization, noting that they were not carried along in the campaign process. They specifically queried the expenditures of the campaign funds.
As the Chairperson of Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, Binani was also alleged to have donated over 3000 bags of rice to some residents of Adamawa state. This generated series of controversy as Adamawa residents alleged her of presenting the items in her name instead of declaring those items were sent by the federal government through her office as SDG Chairperson.
Few days to the election of 18th March, 2023, a petition was submitted to Yola South chapter of the APC, raising series of allegations against the APC Guber candidate. Thereafter, all executive members of Yola South APC signed an invitation to Binani to appear and answer allegations contained in the petition but the guber candidate failed to honor the invitation. This did not go well with some members of the party as they termed it “an act of arrogance on the part of their representative”.
Undoubtedly, the Adamawa APC went to the poll with sharp divisions leading to it abysmal performance at the guber elections. The party’s main challenger, PDP were so strong and united that despite the huge resources and an alleged “federal might” polled 401. 115 to defeat APC with 365,498. This is with margin of 35.617.
Of course the Fufore’s crisis emanated from various social media publications declaring Binani as the winner of the guber race even when collations were still on going.
In a twitter handle, Binani4Governor, the APC was declared winner with exhibitions of fake results, giving Binani 406,617 against INEC official results.
In a move seen by PDP as a breach to the constitutional provisions, a spokesman for the APC, Bayo Onanuga falsely announced that the party’s governorship candidate in Adamawa state had become the country’s first elected female governor. “Congrats Aisha Binani for being Nigeria’s first elected female state governor. We all love you for opening new frontier for all Nigerian women (sic),” This was a tweet shared on March 19, 2023 and retweeted more than 380 times.
The PDP described such announcements as illegal, calling on INEC and law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators. The party’s State Returning Officer, protested against such illegality at the State Collation Center in Yola. The state was about to be thrown into violence when soldiers were deployed to major cities.
The ruling party in the state, PDP has always alleged Binani of getting undue advantage from both the presidency and the country’s electoral umpire. During the electioneering, an Adamawa based group, Network of Community Development Association, NCDA petitioned INEC that the APC guber candidate should be disqualified over her involvement in the printing of Elections Results Sheets contract. The group called on anti-graft agencies to investigate and unravel what they termed as alleged favoritism and corruption in giving out such sensitive contract to a politician who is also seeking elective position. The group alleged APC guber candidate who is the founder of Binani Nigeria Limited, the Binani Group of Companies of hobnobbing with INEC and the presidency in other to rig gubernatorial elections in Adamawa State.
Malabu, a policy and political commentator writes from Yola via email@example.com
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