Ahead of Saturday’s Nasarawa Central Assembly re – run election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that it would not allow any voter without protective face mask at the election
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu gave the warning at the commission’s office in Nasarawa local government during the inspection of election materials in preparation for the polls
The commission on Wednesday, embarked on an inspection visit to Nasarawa local government in Nasarawa state to assess the state of preparedness for the exercise.
Professor Mahmoud Yakubu who also led members of the commission on a courtesy visit on the Emir of Nasarawa, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, emphasised the uniqueness of Saturday’s poll, noting that the commission was set to conduct a credible exercise in accordance with the laws of the land.
“This is the first election we are holding since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. We thought we should come to check the level of preparations and I am happy we are joined by the Liaison Officer of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“The lessons that will be learned from this election will help us in Edo, Ondo governorship elections and so many bye-elections to be conducted by INEC.
“As far as the headquarters is concerned, everything that Nasarawa state INEC office requires for the election has been provided. So, we want to see how ready they are to deploy for Saturday election,” Yakubu said.
According to him, the visit was also for the commission to meet with traditional rulers in the constituency as well as relevant stakeholders in the by-election including security agencies.
“This is an extra-ordinary election, so we are visiting the palace of Emir of Nasarawa to ask for their support.”
He further explained that strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols would be the hallmark of the election including wearing of Facemasks by voters.
Some of the non-sensitive materials inspected included Voters Register, voting cubicles, ballot boxes, hand sanitizers, generating sets, facemasks and jackets for electoral and presiding officers, stamp and other voting materials.
The election is set take place in seven wards, 44 polling units and other voting points. Total number of registered voters is 71,919.
Only two political parties, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presented candidates for the exercise
In his remarks, the Emir of Nasarawa, His Royal Highness, Ibrahim Usman Jibril thanked his august visitors and pledged the readiness of the entire Nasarawa Emirate for peaceful and orderly exercise.
Describing Nasarawa local government as a huge land mass, the monarch expressed optimism that Saturday’s exercise would provide invaluable lessons that would help the commission prepare well for the September 19 and October 10 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states respectively.
The Nasarawa State Central constituency seat became vacant following the death in April of the previous occupant, Hon. Suleiman Adamu from coronavirus complications.