POLITICS

Prof. Mahmood steps aside as INEC chairman

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who was renominated for the position, on Monday handed over to retired Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu, as the acting chairman of the commission.

Prof Yakubu, whose first tenure ends on Monday November 9, was re-appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 27 as the chairman of the commission for a second term in office.

The reappointment is, however, subject to a Senate confirmation after its resumption of plenary in November 24.

The INEC chairman was first appointed in November 2015 to succeed Attahiru where he supervised the 2019 General Election and off-cycle elections in states in Kogi, Edo and Ondo states.

Speaking before handing over to Mu’azu, Yakubu recalled that the current commission was inaugurated in three batches.

According to him, he and five commissioners were sworn-in on 9th November 2015, followed by another six commissioners on 7th December 2016 and one more commissioner on 21st July 2018.

Yakubu said that the commission is a constitutional body whose members are appointed for five years which may be renewed for a second and final term.

“This means that my tenure and that of the first set of five Commissioners ends today. As you are already aware, the renewal of my tenure as chairman of the commission has been announced, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

“Our work as election managers requires us to enforce the law, regulations and guidelines. In doing so, we must demonstrate strict respect for, and compliance with, the Constitution of Nigeria and subsidiary laws,” Yakubu said.

He added that consequently, it will be inappropriate for him to remain in office beyond Monday, 9th November 2020, without confirmation by the Senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law.

Yakubu said, “Pending the conclusion of the statutory process, the remaining National Commissioners have resolved that AVM Ahmed Mu’azu (rtd) will oversee the affairs of the Commission. It is therefore my pleasure to hand over to him in the interim. We have worked as a team for the last four years. Therefore, there is nothing new to anyone of them.”

He expressed appreciation for the support of the commission members, the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), the Secretary to the Commission, the Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Directors, members of the technical team, heads of the various security agencies deployed to INEC and all staff of the commission nationwide.

He also expressed optimism that he looks forward to working with them again.

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