Prof,Mahmood Yakubu

The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman for a second and final term. Professor Yakubu’s reappointment is subject to approval by members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly. Prof. Yakubu took over from Prof. Attahiru Jega in 2015 when he was first appointed by president Buhari, six months after the president assumed office. This is the first time an INEC chairman is reappointed in the history of Nigeria. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, the party spokesperson, called on Prof. Yakubu to see his reappointment as ample opportunity to deliver credible and conclusive elections to Nigerians. Yakubu was charged to use the experience garnered in the past five years as a guide to reposition INEC for the assignment ahead.

The statement read: “The party state that this reappointment entrusts on Prof. Yakubu, the fate, hope and future of over 200 million Nigerians as well as that of generations yet unborn. In the light of this five years’ extension, our party hopes that the failures, disappointments and miscarriages that characterized the first five years’ tenure of Yakubu will have no place in the new order”. Yakubu was reminded of the expectations of Nigerians for a credible election come 2023, “it is therefore, instructive to state that Prof. Yakubu has been given an ample time to redeem himself, the image of the commission and preparation for credible, free and fair election in our country. We charge the INEC chairman to spend the nearly two years ahead of the next general election to reposition the commission, work out appropriate electoral policies and guidelines and push for the amendment of the electoral act, in conjunction with the National Assembly to give our nation a credible electoral process”.

Political parties in the country under the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), have also hailed the reappointment of Prof. Yakubu in a statement by Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, IPAC national chairman. Dr. Nzenwa praised the INEC chairman’s remarkable digitalization program which has transformed the way elections have been conducted in the country in the last four years. He said, “the success of the Edo and Ondo 2020 gubernatorial polls are clear examples of the positive technology and digitalization trajectory which Prof. Yakubu’s first tenure gave to Nigeria”. The IPAC chairman urged Yakubu to continue with his efforts at reforming the electoral process, even as he tasked him to put his foot down to ensure that Nigerians’ votes count in all elections for the country to move forward.

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