The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will hold by-elections on Saturday to fill two vacant seats in the Senate and one House of Representatives seat in Katsina, Bauchi and Kogi respectively.

The APC and PDP would use the by-elections to test their strength in the three states ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Of the three seats up for grabs on Saturday, the Katsina election seems the most important.

The vacant Katsina North senatorial seat (popularly called Daura Zone) is the senatorial district of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The seat became vacant following the death of Senator Mustapha Bukar in April 2018.

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Bukar, 64, a native of Daura, until his death was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market Development, the position he took over from the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke of Osun West who died in the same month of April  2017.

Two blood brothers go to war over the slot

The battle to replace Bukar is between two blood brothers.

Ahmed Babba Kaita is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Kabir Babba Kaita will fly the Peoples Democratic Party’s flag in the senatorial by-election.

Kabir is an elder brother to Ahmed and both are from the same father.

While Ahmed is a serving member of the House of Representatives, Kabir is a retired Customs officer.

Huge crowds at the candidates’ rallies

Both candidates separately held their final campaign rallies on Thursday.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo led APC’s grand rally at the Kangiwa Square in Daura .

He was accompanied by the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) Boss Mustapha, APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika, his Water Resources counterpart Suleiman Adamu, Senator Abu Ibrahim (Katsina South), Senator Umar Kurfi (Katsina central), among others.

On its part, the PDP had its own rally in Kankia. It was led by Kano State former governor and presidential hopeful, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; another PDP presidential hopeful Sule Lamido, former governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, the National Secretary of PDP Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri, a former senator Garba Lado, and many other members of the PDP from the North West states.

In the two separate rallies held, one thing was clear: the two political parties attracted mammoth crowds.

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