Today, eligible voters in Bauchi South Senatorial District of Bauchi State will decide who will represent them at the Senate following the vacancy created by the death of the former occupant, Ali Wakili, in March this year.
All the contenders have concluded their campaigns and now await the electorates to decide who is more suitable to replace the deceased senator.
Nine parties are taking part in what is expected to be a keenly contested election.
The parties in contest are All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Action Peoples Party (APP), Kowa Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), People for Democratic Change (PDC), African Democratic Congress (ADC).
Interestingly, the bye-election is seen as very crucial to the people of Bauchi State giving the fact that Bauchi South is generally considered as the core of the state.
Apart from being the largest senatorial district made up of seven local government areas, it is also considered the most educationally advanced district in the state.
Bauchi South is famed to have produced most of the notable names from Bauchi State including Nigeria’s former Prime Minister, Tafawa-Balewa, and the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
Bauchi South has also produced all the state’s governors since 1999.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the election will hold in the 75 electoral wards of the seven local government areas that make up Bauchi South Senatorial District.
In these wards, there are 445 voting units that are broken down into 1,499 polling points spread across the seven local government areas.
The local government areas that will be casting their ballots today comprise Bauchi, Toro, Dass, Tafawa-Balewa, Bogoro, Alkaleri and Kirfi.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Bauchi State, Ibrahim Abdullahi, informed journalists on Thursday that electorates who will participate in the bye-election are those who voted in the 2015 general elections “and had collected their PVCs as at December 2017.”
The REC said “accreditation and voting during the election will be done simultaneously as voters will be accredited and allowed to cast their votes immediately.”
The candidates in the election are as follows: Lawal Yahaya Gumau (APC); Isah Yuguda (GPN); Haruna Ayuba (ADC); Aminu Tukur (APP) and Usman Hassan (Kowa Party).
Others are Maryam Bargel (SDP); Husseini Umar (NNPP); Usman Chaledi (PDC); and Ladan Salihu (PDP).
Mr Yuguda of GPN is the immediate former governor of the state.
Those seen as the strong contenders are Mr Gumau of APC, being a sitting member of House of Representatives and candidate of the government; and Salisu Ladan of PDP who is alleged to be backed by the former minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed.
Mr Yuguda could also spring a surprise.
The police said they have mobilised enough personnel to provide security for the entire exercise.
Voting is expected to start at 8 a.m.