Senate Confirms New INEC Chairman, Commissioners



THE Senate, on Thursday, October 29, confirmed the nomination of Mahmood Yakubu, a professor of political science, as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

It also confirmed the nomination of Solomon Adedeji Soyebi, South-West; Mohammed Mustapha Lecky, South-South; Amina Zakari, North-West; Antonia Taiye Okoosi Simbine, North-Central and Baba Shettima Arfo, North-East, as national commissioners.

President Muhammadu Buhari had forwarded the names of the appointees to the Senate for confirmation in accordance with Section 154(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

At the screening, Yakubu had in answer to a question said: “I cannot be intimidated. It is too late for me to be intimidated in anything in this country. I have the character to do the right thing. Secondly, in the course of my public service, I have received many accolades, including eight honorary doctorate degrees with none from my state. I have reconciled myself to the service of Nigeria.”

The new INEC chair said early preparation for election was very important rather than the fire-brigade mentality in the conduct of elections.

He said the 12.3 million permanent voter cards, PVCs, that were not distributed before the 2015 general elections would be circulated next year.

He promised that the INEC under his watch would improve on the registration and distribution of the PVCs.

On electronic voting, he said one day the country would embrace electronic voting.

He, however, cautioned that the country should tread cautiously, taking cognisance of the experience of other countries that embraced electronic voting without proper planning.

On the reforms he intended to bring, Yakubu hailed Attahiru Jega, his predecessor, for doing a great work in the commission. He promised to do whatever would be required to consolidate and improve on what was already on ground for better performance.

Appointed national commissioners also answered questions from members of the Senate who tested their eligibility.

—  Nov 9, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT


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