The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Ismaeel Danbaba, has emerged winner of the Nasarawa Central bye-election after polling 7,475 votes to beat his closest contender Nuhu Bawa of the People’s Democratic Party, who secured 4,608 votes.
Returning officer for the election Iliyasu Umar declared him the winner after announcing that he had satisfied the requirements of the law. Saturday’s election was marked by low turnout as only 12,381 people were accredited to vote out of the 71,919 people registered in the constituency.
It was held to fill the seat left vacant after a member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Suleiman Adamu, who died on April 30, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19. Adamu was the first person to die due to the pandemic in Nasarawa State. The election is also the first to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to set the pace for forthcoming Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
Apart from the low turnout, the elections started behind schedule in several polling units with accreditation and voting commencing as much as two hours 8:30 am. A new face-detecting IPAD introduced by INEC and which was used for the election suffered some glitches and in several polling units visited, the electoral officers resorted to the use of card readers.
It was also observed that at several polling units, social distancing was not maintained and the use of face masks was not consistent.