POLICE officers attached to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre in Adamawa State have reportedly barred journalists from accessing the centre.
The police were reported to have claimed that they had accredited journalists they would invite to cover the collation and announcement of the supplementary election results.
Daily Trust reported how journalists, who were already accredited for presidential and gubernatorial elections, were shocked when police officers turned them away from the centre.
The newspaper said there were protests by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) members over an alleged plan to move the INEC collation centre from Bank Road to another location in the state.
However, the sorting of votes was in progress at the INEC main office.
When contacted on the telephone by The ICIR reporter, the spokesperson for the Adamawa State Police Command, Yahaya Suleiman, a superintendent of police, said the Daily Trust report did not say policemen, but INEC, stopped the journalists.
Suleiman said the police could not stop journalists from performing their constitutional role.
“They said INEC, not our men. After all, we will not, and we will never bar journalists from doing their constitutional job. Never!” he said.
INEC had rescheduled all inconclusive polls from the February 25 presidential and National Assembly election and March 18 Governorship and House of Assembly poll to today, April 15.
The ICIR reported how residents of the state eagerly await who would lead them for the next four years between the incumbent governor Ahmadu Fintiri, who runs on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Senator Aishatu Dahiru (Binani) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While Fintiri polled 421,524 votes in the March 18 election, Binani had 390,275.
Nigerians are very interested in the election because the country has never witnessed a fierce contest between a male and a female politician for a governorship seat as in the Adamawa election.
That the contest is happening in the North, where few women have been elected into public offices, makes the election more interesting.
Another factor that makes the election interests many Nigerians is that the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is from Adamawa State.
Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's the ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022. Contact him via email @ email@example.com.