Ban on NGOs: Ardo accuses Fintiri of plans to rig guber polls in Adamawa


~Says action unconstitutional, assault on democracy

~ Urges NGOs to challenge decision in court

The guvernorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Dr. Umar Ardo has condemned in strong terms the proscription of activities of NGOs ahead of the March guber pills in Adamawa saying the order is dictatorial and meant to rig the election.

He accused the governor of attempts to remove the critical roles of NGOs which is election monitoring so as to get the leeway to rig the election with impunity.

“It is with deep sense of shock and regret that I, Dr Umar Ardo, the SDP Adamawa state gubernatorial candidate, watched the statewide broadcast of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in which he suspended all activities of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in the state.

“For most of us in the SDP, the critical activities of NGOs especially in observing and monitoring elections processes before, during and after, is essential against prone untoward manipulation and rigging of the exercise by incumbent governments and political parties.

“Therefore to take such a drastic action at this crucial period when the state governorship and House of Assembly elections are by the corner definitely calls to question the motive of the governor. For us, the governor simply wants to remove NGOs’ critical element in elections monitoring to manipulate and rig the process.

“The fact that the governor did not also refer to any extant law empowering him to act in such a manner makes his action unlawful, unconstitutional and arbitrary.

“It is thus a clear act of impunity that must not be accepted and allow unchallenged. The SDP therefore takes strong exception to this arbitrary, insensitive, despotic action of the governor as it is an assault to our democracy, rule of law and the electoral process. We view it as a means by the Governor and PDP to manipulate and rig the forthcoming Governorship and House assembly elections in the state before the ballots are even cast. The action is no doubt a direct affront and violation of the Electoral Act 2022.

“The opposition SDP in Adamawa state therefore calls on the International and local NGOS to challenge this illegal suspension of their activities and oppose it in the best legal way they deem fit.

“In the meantime, we in the SDP not only oppose and condemn it and call on the good citizens of Adamawa state to do same, but we are also warning that if the 11th March elections hold under this suspension it will be a ground to challenge the process at the tribunal,” he said.



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