AHEAD of the bye-election in Nasarawa Central State Constituency on Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged candidates, voters, political parties and their supporters to observe the new COVID-19 guidelines.
On Wednesday in Nasarawa, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu warned, ”no facemask no voting. Party branded facemask is not allowed. The commission is not insisting on surgical face mask, any face covering will be allowed.
“Social distancing and wearing of facemasks are very important to health of the people, which is more important. Measures had been put in place to avoid crowd at the voting point.”
He described the election as important because it would be the first election in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We deliberately chose to start with Nasarawa Central State bye-election so that we can learn the lessons we need to learn ahead of Edo and Ondo states governorship elections as well as 15 outstanding bye-elections,” he said.
“We are carefully monitoring what is happening in Edo and Ondo states.The commission is meeting on Thursday, but given the urgency of what is happening in Edo, we need to call a meeting immediately, of parties, candidates and campaign councils.
“We will do whatever we need to do to stem violence or its threat, particularly in Edo,” Yakubu said.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police in Nasarawa, Mr Fatai Akinyomi said more than 500 policemen drawn from four commands will be deployed for the bye-election.
He assured that: “We do not have any problem. From what is going on, I can say that there will no be problem in the bye-election.”
The Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jubrin, assured Yakubu that, “we are with you and we support whatever you do. Your efforts in Nasarawa will not be wasted.”
The Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Youth Development, Ari Abdulmumuni, (Nasarawa/Toto Federal Constituency),
who led the All Progessives Congress’s (APC) delegation, said that APC would ensure a peaceful election, as peace would be their watchword in the election.(NAN)