Nasarawa/Toto Bye-election: APC Candidate, Others React

Beyond the expectations of many, the supplementary Nasarawa/Toto Federal Constituency seat election in Nasarawa State ended in a peaceful note, even as there was poor turnout of voters during the polls.

The political parties in bye-election contesting in the election were the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The seat was made vacant by the untimely death of the lawmaker representing the constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Musa Baba Onwana.

Owing to political rivalries in the state, there were fears in some quarters that the exercise would be characterised by violence.

The candidate of the APC, Arc. Muhammad Ja’afar Ibrahim, who spoke exclusively with The Street Reporters on the election expressed satisfaction on the conduct the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the exercise and its peaceful conduct.

According to him, “The preparation was okay; we got all the materials and the human resources were on ground. INEC was adequately prepared”.
He observed that the election was “going on fine and we expect that at the end of the day, the APC should prevail. That’s our prayer.”

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He, therefore, expressed hope that the exercise would be concluded peacefully without rancour.

Arc Ja’afar Ibrahim in his message to his supporters urged them to maintain the peace no matter the outcome of the election, arguing that there is nothing unusual about election outcome as the winner or loser at the end of the polls would not be considered as the first.

“I know that at the end of the day, all will be well”, he concluded.

On his part, Hon. Saidu Galadima Shala, representing Toto/Gadabuke constituency in Nasarawa State House of Assembly equally expressed satisfaction on the conduct of the election.

According to him, the electoral body is getting it right as regards conduct of elections, saying the commission can only learn by consistent practice and this can only happen during polls.

On the poor turnout of voters, Hon Galadima Shala explained that the election came during the rainy season when the residents, who are predominantly farmers, were engaged in their farmlands.
An Assistant Presiding officer at Angwan Dallatu Polling Unit, Nasarawa Central Ward in Nasarawa Local Government Area, Ahmed Mohammed, said that accreditation and voting took place same time to ensure that nobody was disenfranchised.

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Mohammed Umar, a voter, described the exercise as peaceful and commended the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies for their arrangement towards ensuring peaceful election.

At Angwan Girku 1 Polling Unit of Nasarawa Local Government Area, Aisha Audu, a voter, also expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the exercise.

INEC deployed a total of 2,338 staff for the conduct of the bye-elections into Nasarawa-Toto Federal Constituency of Nasarawa State and Oke-Ero State Constituency of Kwara State.

A breakdown of the total figure shows that the Commission will deploy 2,012 election officials for the Nasarawa/Toto election.

The Federal Constituency has two Local Governments, 27 Registration Areas, 256 Polling Units and a total of 207, 448 registered voters, with a total of 429 Voting Points.

The breakdown of election officials deployed in the Nasarawa/Toto election is as follows: 1 Returning officer; 2 Local Government Collation officers; 27 Registration Area Collation Officers; 256 Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs); 1,287 Presiding Officers; 302 Assistant Presiding Officers (VP); 79 Reserve APOs; 2 Local Government Supervisors; 28 Registration Area Supervisors and 1 Constituency Supervisor.

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For the Oke-Ero State Constituency election, INEC deployed a total of 326 electoral officials.

The breakdown is as follows: 1 Returning officer; 10 Registration Area Collation Officers; 10 Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs); 63 Presiding Officers; 207 Assistant Presiding Officers I,II and III; 12 Assistant Presiding Officers (VP); 11 Reserve APOs;11 Registration Area Supervisors and 1 Constituency Supervisor.

Oke-Ero State Constituency is made up of 1 Local Government; 10 Registration Areas; 63 Polling Units; 29,607 Registered Voters and 69 Voting Points.


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